Roaring Tiger Rollercoaster

        Mrs. Pamela Strom    CJHS    205 Caruthers Ave.   Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

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The newspaper headline this morning read,

"Cape Central Junior High School coasts
into a new school year

For years, 7th and 8th graders have complained about just playing basketball after lunch.  They wanted another option.  With the financial support of a private citizen of our beautiful city of roses,  the active students of CJHS will soon be exploring a potentially fun rollercoaster.   Students  have   been challenged  to   research the  requirements of building  an   energizing rollercoaster   model.   A team of students will be formed to build the roller coaster which will be called the "Tiger Roaring" Roller Coaster".  The goal is to provide a ride of a lifetime everytime!  The thrill will keep the students from hanging out in the cafeteria and get them moving with awesome momentum.  With increased energy, students will be free-falling for more school excitement.  Each turn will  accelerate positive attitudes!  



There is science behind the fun of coasters.    The roller coaster which your team is going to build will demonstrate the different types of energy which influence the action of a coaster as it obeys the Laws of Motion.  Gravity and friction are also involved.  As you research the science of roller coasters, think about the following questions:

* What keeps the people in the cars?
* What keeps the cars from leaving the tracks?
* Is there a requirement to the heights of the hills of
   roller coaster?
* Why is there always at least one big hill?
* Is centripetal force involved?
* What scrap materials are best to use when building a model
   roller coaster?

You will be researching some websites to help answer these questions plus provide additional information needed to plan a "Tiger Roaring Rollercoaster".  Then, team members will role play to cooperatively build a functional
roller coaster model.






























































1.  First, you need  to visit some sites to  research and collect
     information to support your ideas for your
    Roaring Roller Coaster".

2.  A hand-out will be provided to guide your research. 
     Write your notes on the hand-out.  Use the following
     websites to answer the questions.

Investigate the following websites and then your team will  
     design a model of a roller coaster.:  

Amusement Park Physics- What are the forces behind the fun-
This site to presents information about the physics of rides at amusement parks, Roller coasters are the focus along with few other rides.. Click on the roller coaster, then scroll down and click on design a roller coaster to find out how physical laws affect ride design.

Roller Coaster Physics
This site provides a graphic of a roller coaster with labels that identify the types of forces that affect the coaster as it follows the track. Click on any label to learn more about that force.

Kinetic and Potential Energy
This site provides information about kinetic and potential energy, and the other kinds of energy which are involved with roller coasters. Click on loops and turns to see which laws of motion (Newton's Laws) are involved in the design features of a roller coaster.

Funderstanding Roller Coaster
This site provides an opportunity to design a roller coaster. You can manipulate the height of the hills, sizes of the loops, speed of the coaster, and mass of the coaster on an interactive screen.  It takes several minutes to load this site.

Roller Coaster
This site gives you the background physics needed to design a model roller coaster.  Scroll down to find an experiment in which you can design and build a model roller coaster.

Coaster Quest: How does that work?
This site answers many more questions about roller coasters.

Roller Coaster Safety
This site provides an explanation on how and why rider safety is monitored on roller coasters.

National Amusement Park Historical Association- Industry
This site to provides the history of amusement parks, and amusement park rides. Examples of information are 1) details of the oldest amusement parks  2) record-breaking roller coasters
3) classic rides.
  Roller Coasters' Data
Use the sites below to compare the lengths, heights, speed, # of hills, and # of loops of each of the following roller coasters.

Building a Roller Coaster Model
This site gives ideas on types of building materials for the model.

Six Flags America Roller Coaster Building Contest 2004
Look for ideas for construction materials for building a roller coaster.  The first paragraph also describes how a roller coaster works in scientific terms. 

GC Brewer Coasterworks
This site answers questions about how to build a roller coaster model.  

Thrills, Chills, and Spills/The Model Roller Coaster Physics Project
This site provides ideas and pictures of roller coaster model building.

Making a roller coaster model lesson
Look for construction supply ideas for building a roller coaster model.

Another roller coaster model lesson
Scroll down to the bottom of page one to see a list of materials that could be used to build a roller coaster model.


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4.  Assign "jobs" for each person in the class.  Choose from the
     following list.  Each class is a team and each team member will
     be evaluated on his or her performance during this project. 
     There may be more than one person chosen for each "job".

This person keeps track of all activities for the project.  All of the
    other team members report to him or her.  May need to assign addition
   responsibilities to team members.  The person reports to the CEO
   (teacher) of the project.

    This person keeps a journal of the teams activities. A daily report will
    be turned in to the CEO every day.

Construction worker
This person builds the roller coaster.  He or she reports to the

Supply clerk
This person keeps track of the inventory of the supplies.  He or she
    reports to the Foreman.

This person reports to Foreman, and is actively working with the
    construction workers in building the roller coaster.  He or she gives
    advise on building techniques.

    This person keeps track of the money spent for supplies and will
     provide  a report to the CEO at the end of the project.

This person  provides the final designs for the team's roller
    coaster.  The colorful design must be presented using any medium and
    have all of forces and energy which are involved with the
    roller coaster must be labeled.. 

Safety Director
This person uses research of the safety issues of roller coasters to
     determine the safety issues of his team's roller coaster.  A report will be
     given during the presentation.  Adaptations for safety must be

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5.  The team will choose a design of a model roller coaster
     from the proposed ideas of each team member.

6.  Team members will
assume the job roles and bring in
     supplies to build their model roller coaster.  A limited supply
     of items may be supplied by the teacher.

7.  The team will
build the model roller coaster in class
     There will be deadline.

The roller coaster must have at least 2 hills and a turn.

        The vehicle's  acceleration must decrease as it
           comes to a stop.

       The team will test their model roller coaster and make

      The secretary will record the adjustments and

8.  The team will
present their roller coaster model to the CEO.

        The Foreman(s) will explain how the roller coaster  works.

        The Architect(s) will explain the how the roller coaster
           was built and why the particular materials were used.

        The Safety Director(s) will report on the safety issues
           and how the roller coaster was adapted to address these

        The Accoutant(s) will report on the expenses of the
           project and provide ideas for saving money for future
           roller coaster projects.

        Presentations may involve any of the following:

Multimedia Presentations
Web Page
Summary Tables
Concept Maps
Venn Diagrams
Flow Charts

         Each team will have three attempts for their model to 
           work successfully.

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A rubric will be used to evaluate each team's roller coaster
Another rubric will be used to evaluate the proper
   participation of each team member.

The CEO(teacher) will be the evaluator.

Team members will evaluate the project also.

Each team members grade will determined by the combination
   of the project grade and their individual performance grade.

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Now, the students of CJHS look forward to lunch, and middle school students can't wait to go to junior high.  The Tiger Roaring Roller Coaster is a fun and energizing lunch acitivity.  It gives all students a hands-on experience of forces, motion and energy.  Due to the success of the coaster, the students decided to raise funds by charging a quarter for each ride.  The funds are used to maintain the roller coaster and cleaning supplies.  Cleaning supplies are needed for potential messes due to food projectiles!

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