We recently did a project in school about roller coasters to learn about physics. In groups of three we had to design our own roller coasters. One of the things we learned was Newton's laws of motion which are: 1) An object at rest stays at rest, an object in motion stays in motion unless acted on by an outside force. 2) The acceleration of an object depends on the mass of an object and the net force applied. 3) For every action there is a reaction.
The roller coaster my team built was the Waffle Napalm. If it were real you would be handed pudding, drenched in maple syrup twice, and ride through a shark tunnel. You also would ride in a waffle. In my group I was the engineer and I learned about the design of roller coasters. KB was the historian and she learned about the history of roller coasters. AW was the physicist and he learned about the physics of roller coasters. We all learned about unbalanced forces, which keep you in your seat, and friction, which helps the car stop. We also learned about speed, the measurement of how fast something is moving.
We tried our roller coaster on a website to see of it would actually work and it did. I think it was a success because we made it fun and interesting and if it were real I would definitely ride it again and again. If I could improve it I would have at the end you would get free waffles and pudding.
If you want to learn about more about the vocabulary we learned, click here.
This photo was taken by Catie K on May 16, 2008