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Thrills and Chills

1386347637image.jpgChapter Challenge: Students modify the design of a roller coaster to meet the needs of a specific group of riders.

Students use gravitational and potential energy to explain their observations of a ball rolling down an incline and a swinging pendulum. They investigate spring potential energy and explore the law of conservation of energy. They determine the relationship between gravitational force and distance. Students learn about the difference between mass and weight, and determine Hooke’s law and calculate spring potential energy. Newton’s second law for net forces is used to analyze a free-body diagram for objects undergoing acceleration. Students investigate centripetal force and apply it to a roller coaster. They pull a mass up different routes to a fixed height and develop a definition of work and its relationship to power. Students develop concept maps on force and energy and explore examples of each on a roller coaster.