The Physics of Rollercoasters (Physics)

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Introduction

This lesson introduces students to the concepts of potential and kinetic energy, and conservation of energy using the concept of roller coasters and simulations.

Lesson Time

Video Segment & Discussions
25 Minutes
Teacher Simulations & Discussions
25 Minutes
Individual Student Lab Activity with Energy Skate Park a PHET simulation
45 Minutes
Checking for Understanding
5 Minutes

Industries / Subjects / Grades

Industries / Pathways
  • Energy, Environment, and Utilities Energy, Environment, and Utilities
    • Energy and Power Technology
    • Environmental Resources
    • Telecommunications
K-12 Subjects
  • Science
    • Physics
Grade Levels
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

Standards and Objectives

Standards

California English Common Core Standards (1)
Next Generation Science Standards (2)
California Academic Content Standards (1)

Related Instructional Objectives (SWBAT...)

  • Students will watch a video on roller coasters
  • Students will answer questions related to how roller coasters work
  • Students will differentiate between kinetic and potential energy
  • Students will explain the relationship between roller coasters and conservation of energy
  • Students will simulate different types of roller coasters and describe the factors that contribute to objects' potential and kinetic energy

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