Your pulse quickens, your stomach churns, your eyes water, your heart rate increases, you lose all sense of time and space. You cannot tell which way is up, down or sideways. The effect of riding roller coasters is tremendous! Students from Osceola Middle School set out to discover the science behind this hair-raising fun on a recent visit to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay for Physics Day.
Over 300 OMS students used the Times' Coasters 101 educational poster to prepare for their visit. Coasters 101 is designed to teach students all about physics - the science that deals with matter, energy, motion and force. In particular, the principles of kinematics (how we describe motion), dynamics (effects of forces on the motion of objects) and energy (the capacity to do work) that come alive in the study of roller coasters.
If you have ever wondered if a trip to a theme park can be an educational experience, read the comments of the OMS students below as they describe how what they learned from Coasters 101 made a real life connection while riding the roller coasters at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.
Feel free to share your own roller coaster story as well!