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Grade 9 through Grade 12 (High School)
Overview and Purpose:
All students love the excitement of being at an amusement park. This lesson allows them to create their own park in the classroom. The students will get to design their own rides and discover how they follow the laws of physics.
The student will be able to create a ride you find at the amusement park and explain the laws of physics that it follows.
PVC pipe cut in half lengthways (include elbows and u-joints, although they do not have to be cut)
Bendable plastic sheets
Large rubber tubing cut in half
Any other material you think will be useful
Divide students into groups of three and tell them they are going to create their own amusement park rides. They can choose familiar ones or make one up, but they have to be able to explain the laws of physics that their ride follows. Have students look over the materials, discuss, plan, and sketch their ride before they begin to make it. (For a two day lesson, you can use the first day as a planning day and then encourage students to bring in any additional materials they will need to make the ride for the next day.)
When they have finished the ride they should present it to the class with a brief report about the laws of physics it follows. Students may need to do some research to find out the laws and why their ride follows them.
There are various websites available that will allow students a chance to build a rollercoaster and offer exciting ways to put those physics laws into "motion".