Roller Coaster based Science Experiments

Monday, November 5, 2001 6:34 AM
Any ideas?
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Monday, November 5, 2001 12:24 PM
My friend and I did a "coaster"experiment. We wanted to do coasters for our science project, but we had to have an experiment in it, so it was pretty pathetic. We recorded how far matchbox cars rolled from a ramp. We were seeing if the weight of the cars had any effect on how far they traveled. She actually let us do it, hehe.
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Bull rides: 103
Batman rides: 61
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Monday, November 5, 2001 12:26 PM
Learn about G-forces. Somehow measure them in certain situations (not sure what) by weighing a mass. It really depends what grade you're in.
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A bad day at Cedar Point is better than a good day at work.
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Monday, November 5, 2001 12:40 PM
I did my Science Fair twice, both times with roller coasters.  The first time, in 7th grade, I did 'What has more centripetal force, a loop or a helix?'  I did very well with it, placing 3rd in my Physics category, then moving on to the Walsh Jesuit High School Science Fair, and then at the regional finals held at Akron.  Then the next year I did 'Does heat affect electromagnets?'  I used Superman: The Escape, SFMM, as the base for my Science Fair.  I made a scale model of Superman from K'Nex and I made homemade electromagnets.  I also did well with this one placing 2nd in my Physics category and competing at the Walsh Fair again.  I guess it was pretty fun, a lot of work though.  If anyone wants to see any data or procedures or anything let me know, I'll be glad to show them to you. 
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Take a good look at Six Flags Worlds of Adventure because in a few years the Sea World side will look exactly like it does, a zoo.
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Monday, November 5, 2001 12:53 PM
An easy idea that I did in 6th grade involving roller coasters was the psychological effect on riders before and after the ride. I did this at SCBB at my all-time favorite coaster, the Giant Dipper. I hung out in the queue and asked if this was their first time on the Giant Dipper, if they rode coasters often, if they were nervous and why, and so on. I only kept interviews with first time riders, since otherwise they knew what to expect.

The cool thing was that everybody liked the ride, and even people who were almost to nervous to answer questions were elated coming off the ride. The coolest subjects were a 68 year old woman who had never ridden or even seen any coasters in person before (she was Russian, when she exited the train she had this huge smile that answered all questions) and a 7 year old girl who was trying to get out of line, crying and telling her dad that she wouldn't do it. I helped convince her by telling her to scream as loud as she could during the scary parts. Of course when they got off she was saying, "That wasn't bad at all, that was fun, let's go again!"

Actually, there was one 10 year old boy who hadn't ridden any coaster before, was extremely nervous, and when he got off he was really upset, thinking that he almost died. He told me he was flying out of the seat and that the bar didn't hold him in. He was already upset at his parents about something before getting on the ride, and wanted to go home, so I didn't use his interview since I thought it was biased. (I think he was dragged onto the coaster by his parents kicking and screaming, so he wasn't about to enjoy anything.)

Of course you have to be a little brave. I was only 12 when I did this, and I thought I was bothering people. But if you say you are doing something for a science project, some rideops will look the other way. After I asked they let me hang out in the queue for hours, even letting me ride a few times in extra seats. A month ago I saw kids taking full cups of water with no lids onto Medusa to see if the water would stay in (it doesn't, I believe they got soaked in the zero-g roll...) saying that it was for a science project.

-djansi

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