Coaster (or should that be cstr?) Physics

CoasterPhysics

As part of my science workshop at BETT, I covered some experiments looking at speed, acceleration and free fall. The main purpose of this was to demonstrate and compare using distance sensors on a Labdisc with an iPad app called Video Physics by Vernier.

Often we would ask students to write up experiments and collect together their research on speed and acceleration as a presentation or project, but I also suggested that since learning is really about demonstrating mastery or understanding that an app like cstr physics (you can download the app here). It contains a track builder to allow you to build your own rollercoaster tracks (which of course have to obey the laws of physics).

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You can then ride your rollercoaster and explore potential and kinetic energy, speed, acceleration and g-force acting all around your track. Students can even explore what happens when you fail to obey the laws of physics without endangering any lives. I used to run a session with a k-nex track and light gates at the city learning centre, but it was not half as much fun as the physics on show here – physics really can be phun!

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