Physics 9: The Science Behind Roller Coasters
43:02
Grades: 6 to 12

How does energy apply to the design of roller coasters? How do roller coaster designers and engineers use the hills, loops, curves, twists, and turns to take advantage of potential energy, kinetic energy, and dissipating energy to create a thrill ride like no other?  View this archived program and find out.  Jeff Havlik, a roller coaster architect, is our guest expert for this program.  To learn more about Jeff and the work he does, view a video about him here.

In addition to the detailed lesson plans and activity ideas included with the Teacher and Student Tools below, here’s a quick suggestion for use of this video:

  • Have a Roller Coaster Challenge for your learners after viewing this program.  Using found items, such as paper towel rolls or window shade slats, require them to design a roller coaster that moves a marble through x number of hills and turns.
Student Tools
Student Tool 60: Conservation of Energy Roller Coaster Lab
This student activity is designed to accompany our Educate.Today video Physics 9: The Science Behind Roller Coasters. More details on how to use it are included in Student Tool 271: The Science Behind Roller Coasters Study Guide.
Student Tool 66: Video Reflection Worksheet
Students can use this activity on their own to share their learning and insights about any video they watch independently, and this Student Tool can also be used in conjunction with Teacher Tool 318: Sharing Your Insights Through A Reflection Worksheet as part of a classroom or homeschool activity. This tool can be used with any video on the Educate.Today website.
Teacher Tools
Teacher Tool 271: The Science Behind Roller Coasters Program Guide
This study guide provides additional details on our upcoming free, live, interactive program Physics 9: The Science Behind Roller Coasters. Contents include: 1) a program description; 2) program objectives; 3) program agenda; 4) pre-program activity suggestions; and 5) national curriculum standards related to the program. Student Tool 60, a student worksheet to accompany one of the learning activities in the document, is provided in the document as well as available for separate download from the Educate.Today web page where the Physics 9 video is located.
Teacher Tool 294: Arts Integration Activity–Roller Coaster Rhythms
This teacher tool, accompanying the video above, provides an Arts Integration activity combining science, engineering, and music as students learn about roller coaster design and construction and create their own musical composition incorporating the rhythms of a roller coaster in action. This activity is designed to be used with the following Educate.Today videos: Engineering-19, Engineering-20, Engineering-21, Engineering-22, Engineering-23, Engineering-24, Engineering-25, Engineering-26, Engineering-27, Engineering-28, Engineering-29, Engineering-30, Engineering-31, Engineering-32, Engineering-33, Engineering-34, Engineering-35, Engineering-36, Engineering-37, Engineering-38.
Teacher Tool 295: STEAM Activity–Roller Coaster Rhythms
This teacher tool, accompanying the video above, provides a STEAM activity combining science, engineering, and music as students learn about roller coaster design and construction and create their own musical composition incorporating the rhythms of a roller coaster in action. This activity is designed to be used with the following Educate.Today videos: Engineering-19, Engineering-20, Engineering-21, Engineering-22, Engineering-23, Engineering-24, Engineering-25, Engineering-26, Engineering-27, Engineering-28, Engineering-29, Engineering-30, Engineering-31, Engineering-32, Engineering-33, Engineering-34, Engineering-35, Engineering-36, Engineering-37, Engineering-38.
Teacher Tool 306: Arts Integration Activity–Expressing Understanding Through Drama
This teacher tool, accompanying the video above, provides an Arts Integration activity giving students the opportunity to share their understanding of the subject matter of the video through drama. This teacher tool could be used with any Educate.Today video(s) you our your students choose.
Teacher Tool 307: Arts Integration Activity–Expressing Understanding Through a Graphic Novel
This teacher tool, accompanying the video above, provides an arts integration activity giving students the opportunity to share their understanding of the subject matter of the video through the creation of a graphic novel. This activity could be used with any Educate.Today video(s) of your or your students' choice.
Teacher Tool 317: Cross Curricular Activity–Sharing Insights Through a Journal Entry
This teacher tool, accompanying the video above, provides an Interdisciplinary activity that invites students to write a journal entry that shares learning and insights they gained by watching the video. This tool can be used with any video on the Educate.Today website.
Teacher Tool 318: Cross Curricular Activity–Video Reflection
This teacher tool, accompanying the video above, provides an Interdisciplinary activity that invites students to complete a reflection worksheet to share learning and insights they gained by watching the video. This tool can be used with any video on the Educate.Today website.
Teacher Tool 319: Cross Curricular Activity–Sharing Learning Verbally
This teacher tool, accompanying the video above, provides an Interdisciplinary activity that invites students to share learning and insights they gained by watching the video through verbal sharing and conversation. This tool can be used with any video on the Educate.Today website.
Teacher Tool 320: Vocabulary Interesting to Me
This teacher tool, accompanying the video above, invites students to increase their vocabulary by selecting, and learning the definitions of, words in the video that are unknown and/or interesting to them. This tool can be used with any video on the Educate.Today website.
Teacher Tool 321: Vocabulary Activity
This teacher tool, accompanying the video above, asks students to listen for certain vocabulary words you have selected and define them in two ways: 1) contextually based on what they think the definition might be based on what they learn in the video; and 2) through a dictionary to either confirm or refine their contextual definition. This tool can be used with any video on the Educate.Today website.
Teacher Tool 683: STEM Activity–Energy Racer
This teacher tool, accompanying the video "Physics-9," provides a STEM activity where students connect their study of potential and kinetic energy with a design problem to create an energy racer capable of meeting a specific challenge.
Teacher Tool 722: STEAM Activity–International Energy Racer
Download this lesson plan for a STEAM activity giving students an opportunity to combine visual arts with their study of physics. This activity accompanies any combination of the following videos: Physics-9, Geography-10, Geography-12, Geography-13, Geography-14, Geography-15, Geography-16, Geography-17, Geography-18, and Geography-19.
Teacher Tool 770: Quick Ideas for Using Our Archived Programs
The archives of our live, interactive programs provide a unique resource for you and your students—all the benefits of having a guest speaker in your classroom or taking students on a field trip without the hassles of scheduling on your own PLUS some unique additional advantages as well. Some of those advantages are related to time. Others are related to flexibility of use. Couldn’t join us live? No problem. With this resource, material included in the live program can assist student learning in the best, differentiated way for your classroom. Download this document for some quick ideas on ways to use this unique resource.
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