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Amusement Park Physics is an excellent resource for teachers who want their students to connect their experiences at an amusement park to the physics concepts studied in class. A key portion of the book discusses taking your class to the amusement park and includes sample lab sheets and problem sets.
The book explains how the instruments used to collect data, including electronic sensors, work on a conceptual level. An extensive discussion of the analysis of the data including graphs is provided.
Amusement Park Physics describes several methods for collecting data from roller coaster rides. If you are starting new, the best products to use are:
WDSS Wireless Dynamics Sensor System
DV Data Vest
Note that the best practice is to set up a "download station" at the park where someone stays with a laptop. Student groups go out to collect data then return to the download station to move the data from the WDSS to the computer, save a file with the student names and do some analysis.
#1 Tip for collecting data from roller coasters:
Test out all of your equipment BEFORE you leave for the park. Do some dry runs at a local playground so that you and at least a few of your students are comfortable with setting up data collection then retrieving the data when the experiment is over.
Download the current Vernier K-12 Catalogue
Download the current Vernier University Catalogue
Educational use only:
Vernier and Kidwind products are designed for educational use. They are not appropriate for industrial, medical or commercial applications. Details
Last edited 25th Feb 2019