Scream Machine - A Roller Coaster WebQuest

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ROLE DESCRIPTION The physicist studies and analyzes the properties and interactions of matter and energy with roller coasters.
Your task - Visit the links below. Record your responses to each task. Read to find details to complete the following:
Roller coasters only use the external energy of an engine to pull it up to the top of the first hill. After that, no more external energy will be added to it. So, what makes them go? Read for details in the What Goes Up... and Work and Energy links to explain how the two types of energy work, potential and kinetic, in a roller coaster. Play the simulation at the What Goes Up... link to help you understand the concept of roller coasters and potential and kinetic energy better. Draw a diagram that explains how the two types of energy work in a roller coaster.
Click here to view a coaster simulation. Describe the ride's transformations of energy from beginning to end. Click here for more on transformations of energy.
3. Without a centripetal force, an object cannot travel in circular motion. As an object moves in a circle, it is constantly changing its direction. Because of this, it accelerates. Click here to read about centripetal force. How are Newton's 1st and 2nd Law of Motion applied here? Use details from the text and the cartoon animations in the text to help you respond. Also, explain how this applies to riders on a roller coaster.
4. Click the links in the 3 activities below, A, B, and C. Read and then view the animations or illustrations. Which Law of Motion is being illustrated in each? How does each animation relate to the physics of roller coasters? For more clarification on each law, click the "Newton's Three Laws of Motion" link at the bottom of this page. A. Truck and ladder B. Elephant and feather C. "For every action...
5. Use Inspiration or Microsoft Word to draw, label, and explain each of Newton's 3 Laws of Motion, as related to roller coasters. (Law 1 is inertia,; Law 2 is acceleration; Law 3 is interaction) Click the Newton's and Physics links for information. The What Goes Up.. link may help, also. Click here for samples of Inspiration diagrams.
6. Be ready to present and explain your findings to your team. You and your team will use this information for the design of your ultimate scream machine.
How Does A Roller Coaster Work? The Physics Classroom What Goes Up Must Come Down
Inspiration diagrams
Newton's Three Laws of Motion
Coaster Simulation
Rashida Betts, Reading Specialist Stephen Decatur Middle School 8200 Pinewood Drive Clinton, Maryland 20735 To contact me: rashida.betts@pgcps.org


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Last Modified: Wednesday, February 19, 2014
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