My Experience Over the summer, I went to Cedar Point Amusement Park located in Sandusky, OH. Cedar Point is known for it’s Roller Coasters and is sometimes called “Roller Coaster Capital of the World”. Cedar Point has 17 roller coasters and has three of the top ten steel roller coasters in the world.
Questions that arose: What was the first roller coaster? Is there a difference between steel and wood coasters? Are roller coasters safe? What does a roller coaster do to your body? How do you not fall? Are there different types of coasters?
Top Thrill Dragster Speed reaches 120 mph in less that 4 seconds. Point of descent is a 90 degree drop.
First Roller Coaster The first American roller coaster was the Mauch Chunk Switchback Railway, built in the mountains of Pennsylvania in the mid-1800s. The track, originally built to send coal to a railway, was reconfigured as a "scenic tour." For one dollar, tourists got a leisurely ride up to the top of the mountain followed by a wild, bumpy ride back down. Taken from: http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/roller-coaster1.htm
Steel or Wood? Roller coasters can be wooden or steel, and can be looping or non-looping. You'll notice a big difference in the ride depending on the type of material used. In general, wooden coasters are non-looping. They're also not as tall and not as fast, and they don't feature very steep hills or as long a track as steel ones do. Wooden coasters do offer one advantage over steel coasters, assuming you're looking for palm-sweating thrills: they sway a lot more. Tubular steel coasters allow more looping, higher and steeper hills, greater drops and rolls, and faster speeds. Taken from : http://www.ask.com/bar?q=what+are+roller+coasters+made+out+of&page=1&qsrc=178&ab=8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.learner.org%2Fexhibits%2Fparkphysics%2Fcoaster.html
Roller Coasters and Safety The Numbers Show Safety Statistics show that roller coasters are quite safe. And behind the statistics are built-in safety features and armies of specially-trained technicians who spend their days making sure coasters stay safe. The CPSC estimates there are between 3,000 to 3,500 accidents each year involving permanent amusement rides. Of those, just 2 percent are serious enough to require overnight hospitalization. There are an average three fatalities per-year related to amusement park rides -- or one fatality in every 90 million park visits. But CPSC and other studies show that only a small portion of ride-related injuries are caused by design, operation or maintenance problems. Most are the result of horseplay, patron negligence or situations unrelated to the operation or condition of the ride. Taken from: http://www.ask.com/bar?q=who+builds+roller+coasters&page=1&qsrc=0&ab=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.themedattraction.com%2Fcoaster.htm
Your Body and Coasters Your body feels acceleration in a funny way. When a coaster car is speeding up, the actual force acting on you is the seat pushing your body forward. But, because of your body's inertia, you feel a force in front of you, pushing you into the seat. You always feel the push of acceleration coming from the opposite direction of the actual force accelerating you. Taken from: http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/roller-coaster5.htm
Roller Coaster Types Sit-down Stand-up Inverted Suspended Pipeline: The track is attached to the middle of the train, instead of above or below it. Bobsled: Wheeled trains slide down a U-shaped tube instead of being fixed to a track. Flying: Riders start out in a seated position but are rotated to face the ground as the ride starts, giving the feeling of flying. Fourth Dimension: Two seats from each car are positioned on either side of the track. The seats spin or rotate on their own axis - either freely or in a controlled motion. In 2007, there were only four Fourth Dimension coasters in operation. Taken from: http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/roller-coaster8.htm
Extensions Students could visit this website, http://www.learner.org/interactives/parkphysics/coaster/section1.html, and practice building their own roller coaster. It has students keep in mind the physics of building a roller coaster. At the end of the activity, it gives the student an inspection rating. Students could then visit this website and continue designing. http://kids.discovery.com/games/rollercoasters/buildacoaster.html
Children’s Literature Roller Coaster By: Marla Frazee Using Math to Design a Roller Coaster By: Hilary Koll, Steve Mills, and Korey T. Kiepert
Standard Indicators 4.1.6 Explain that even a good design may fail even though steps are taken ahead of time to reduce the likelihood of failure. 4.1.8 Recognize and explain that any invention may lead to other inventions.
Resources http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/roller-coaster1.htm http://www.ask.com/bar?q=what+are+roller+coasters+made+out+of&page=1&qsrc=178&ab=8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.learner.org%2Fexhibits%2Fparkphysics%2Fcoaster.html http://www.learner.org/interactives/parkphysics/coaster/section1.html http://kids.discovery.com/games/rollercoasters/buildacoaster.html Roller Coaster By: Marla Frazee Using Math to Design a Roller Coaster By: Hilary Koll, Steve Mills, and Korey T. Kiepert