ROLLERCOASTER RIDES : Exploring the Effects of Faster, Scarier Amusement Park Rides Objectives: Students will be able to: Develop an understanding of why people are attracted to amusement park rides. Examine what health risks are involved in thrill rides as they become faster and more dangerous. Research and create posters illustrating the different risks of popular amusement park rides. Write thoughtful essays utilizing the material researched in class to speculate on the human need for high-risk thrills.
OVERVIEW Students explore why people go on roller coasters and what can happen to passengers on these and other "thrill" rides, exploring the science behind them.
WARM-UP QUESTIONS In journals, students will respond to the following questions: 1.Why do people go on roller coasters? 2.What makes them fun? 3.How dangerous to participants can this kind of entertainment be? 4.Who should determine whether or not an amusement park ride is safe?
VOCABULARY Using internet sources, define the following terms: Coax Inversion Ominous Daze Traumatic Vertigo Ocular Malfunction Hurtle Constitute Hematoma Rupture Aneurysm Benign Potential Energy Kinetic Energy Friction Gravity
ADVOCACY FOR SAFER AMUSEMENT PARK RIDES Write letter to a local amusement park that recommends other features that could be added to the seats in some of the thrill rides to make them safer. (1 page)
RESEARCH PAPER Research a popular type of amusement park ride, such as: inverted roller coasters scramblers bumper cars free falls runaway trains pendulum swings (2 pages)
RESEARCH PAPER Research answers to the following questions about your amusement park ride: What is the name of the ride you are researching? What category of ride is it? How does the ride work? What physical forces are involved in the ride? What are the common and not-so-common health risks for this ride? How does an amusement park ride cause this type of injury? Under what conditions can this injury occur? What pre-existing health conditions could this ride exacerbate? (2 pages)
NEWS ARTICLE Read the article, When Brain Trauma Is at the Other End of the Thrill Ride, and answer each question in a complete sentence. Why do people go on roller coasters? What makes them fun? How dangerous to participants can this kind of entertainment be? Who should determine whether or not an amusement park ride is safe? What happened to Deborah Lee Benagh on the Mind Eraser? Why, according to the article, might amusement park injuries be on the rise? What is G-force?
NEWS ARTICLE What other forces are felt on a roller coaster? What are doctors and amusement parks doing to study the health risks of thrill rides? What happens to the body under tremendous force such as the G-force? What are some of the reasons why no one can currently say whether brain injuries suffered by people on thrill rides were caused by the rides themselves? What other factors might affect a rider's physical reaction? What does the amusement park industry subcommittee recommend that amusement parks do to make these rides safer? Do you think this is enough? Why or why not?
BRIEF CONSTRUCTED RESPONSE Students must view the videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCiWrZzYEDo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWHdyRFX348 Write a brief constructed response about the types of rollercoaster that are displayed. Compare and contrast the rollercoaster viewed in the videos to rides that you have rode before.
EXTENDED CONSTRUCTED RESPONSE Using research gathered in class, students will individually write a reflective essay speculating on why human beings subject themselves to this and other high-risk forms of entertainment. (1 page)
PRESENTATION/DEMONSTRATION Students model rollercoaster must complete at least one complete cycle from start to finish (without assistance). Students must demonstrate how potential and kinetic energy is used and transferred during your rollercoasters ride.
EXTENSION ASSIGNMENT Data Research Create a chart assessing the physical and health risks of "kiddie'" rides for younger children. Research statistics on deaths and injuries, as well as the forces mentioned in the article.
EXTENSION QUESTIONS 1.What should a person do if he or she experiences problems during a thrill ride? 2.How do thrill rides compare with rides taken in space ships and fighter planes? 3.What can people do to lower the risks of injuries at amusement parks? 4.Why are people attracted to thrill rides and other high-risk forms of entertainment? 5.Do you think it is the state's responsibility to get involved in private entertainment venues? Why or why not?
EVALUATION Students will be evaluated based on: Thoughtful completion of written work Class and group discussions Participation in group project Tardiness and attendance Completion of reflective essays