Student Exploration: Roller Coaster Physics
Directions: Follow the instructions to go through the simulation. Respond to the questions and
prompts in the orange boxes.
friction, gravitational potential energy, kinetic energy, momentum
Prior Knowledge Questions
(Do these BEFORE using the Gizmo.)
Sally gets onto the roller coaster car, a bit nervous already. Her heart beats faster as
the car slowly goes up the first long, steep hill.
What happens at the beginning of every roller coaster ride?
Does the roller coaster ever get higher than the first hill? Explain.
Roller Coaster Physics
Gizmo models a roller coaster with a toy car on
a track that leads to an egg. You can change the track or the car. For the
first experiment, use the default settings (
= 70 cm,
= 0 cm,
= 0 cm, 35-g car).
) to roll the 35-gram toy car down the track. Does the car break the egg?
to 80 cm, and click
. Does the car break the egg?
back to 70 cm and select the 50-gram toy car. Click
the 50-gram car break the egg?
What factors seem to determine whether the car will break the egg?
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