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Roller Coaster Physics

This year has been so challenging to provide equitable lessons and labs to all my students both remote and in person. I can not send home my tracks and photogates with students to be able to complete labs at home and I can not give in-person students access to something our remote students can not access. I also get bored with always assigning gizmos or pHET simulations in place of in-person labs. I have to change it up for both myself and my students.


As a review of our unit, I used the Coaster Physics App to display how potential and kinetic energy transform, acceleration and speed change, and the g-forces present along a roller coaster ride. It is $1.99 to download but would be worth it if you have some classroom iPads. I downloaded it personally and screen recorded some videos of the ride. However, I see so many uses if you have the funds and/or access to the tools to have students use the app to build their own roller coasters and analyze the data. I am putting a set of classroom iPads on my wish list to try and get a set for my students to use in the future.


I only wish I had found the app earlier, as I would have written a lab that uses the video in the place of the Conservation of Energy Coaster lab I have done in previous years when we were all in person! If I get ambitious this weekend, that might be on my TpT to-do list. However, in the meantime, here are the videos I created of the coaster ride for our review. The full playlist can be viewed here.