Friday, September 23, 2011

What Do Thrill Rides Have to Do With Learning? #edtech

One of the most popular attractions in my area is Six Flags Great America.  I was fortunate enough to spend many a summer working and playing there.  One of the biggest attractions for many students in the Chicago land area is their annual physics trip to the park.  Collecting data under the guise of a fun filled day outside of school these students learn a great deal about the science of physics (admittedly not one of my favorite subjects).   Indeed, dropping from a few hundred feet in the air or looping through a hairpin turn is a great way to experience the laws of physics first hand.

But what if you live nowhere near a park (or are just to scared to take the plunge)?  That's where tonight's Friday Fun Night Utility comes in handy.  Amusement Park Physics from Learner.org is full of fun lessons and interactives that really challenge you to think about the laws of physics.  Whether you are interested in Newton's Laws of Motion or why you get motion sickness on your favorite rides, Amusement Park Physics has a lesson for you.  Plus, you even get to design your own coaster.  Now how fun is that?  Amusement Park Physics also has a resources page that will lead you to more information on the physics of amusement parks.  It's not a site you could spend hours on and the robotic voice can get a little annoying after about 15 minutes - but it is a fun way to look at real life application of physics

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