Science is a new way to teach middle
school science. It is an award-winning,
standards-based program in which
newsworthy events establish the relevance
of science topics; authentic tasks create
the need-to-know more about those topics;
and lively interviews, photographs, Web
pages, and inquiry-based science
activities create a desire to know more
about those topics.
Ride! allows students to explore
Newton's Laws of Motion and other basic
physical science concepts in the context
of amusement parks and roller coasters. A
contract to design a ride for a new
amusement park provides students with a
reason to learn. And as with all
Event-Based Science modules, much of the
information that students need is provided
in the pages of Thrill Ride!.
However, more information is needed.
Information from the Web about real
amusement parks and ride design companies
will add to the authenticity of your
There are a few words missing
from a Discovery File on page 40. Three Laws for
the Price of One should end with this sentence:
"On your next bumper car ride, enjoy your
experience with Sir Isaac Newton's three
The bold words above
are the ones that are missing.
Thanks to Ken Schmidt of
Redland Middle School, Rockville, MD for catching
Below are some World-Wide Web
sites where additional information is available.
Click on the highlighted words and be linked with
Links to Thrill Ride!
related WEB Sites
At this Annenberg/CPB
Project site, you'll have a chance to design your own roller
coaster. Plan it carefully--it has to pass a safety
inspection. You can also experiment with bumper car
Thrills and Chills Without
the Spills--Rollercoaster Physics for Middle
At this site create your dream roller coaster ride and
test it in a virtual amusement park. Explore physics and
math through a roller coaster design competition by building
a working scale model. Compete on-line with other
middle-school students. Also included is a scavenger hunt
covering many different facts about roller
Joyrides is a photo
gallery celebrating the joy and beauty of amusement park
rides, especially roller coasters!
This site will give
your students ideas for the kinds of science and math
activities that can be conducted on thrill
ENERGY afriendly portal through
which energy and science education resources can be accessed
Energy is the unifying
that puts all sorts of patterns
and relationships into perspective.
Video - The Griffon Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens
Paula Kasper, Media
Specialist at Hoover MS, Potomac, MD, recommends
the book: Roller Coasters or I Had So Much Fun,
I Almost Puked (ISBN 1-57505-071-4) by Nick
Cook as a resource for Thrill Ride!
Here is an
interesting relationship for you and your students
to explore. The kinetic energy of a moving object
is equal to the object's mass divided by two times
its velocity squared.
write this relationship as a formula by using
"Ek " for kinetic energy; "m" for mass; and,
"v" for velocity.
How much greater is the
kinetic energy of a car moving 80 mph compared with the same car
moving 40 mph? What are the implications of this difference for
damage and injury in an accident? How about the distance needed to
come to a stop?