Energy is the capacity to do work. A roller coaster has energy
because it has the ability to get to one point to the next and therefore
do work. There are two important terms to know when talking about
roller coasters and energy. Those terms are Potential and Kinetic
Energy. This experiment will help you see and understand what Potential
and Kinetic energy are and how they are different from each other.
Potential and Kinetic Energy
(Print out the handout located at the bottom of this page before doing this activity.)
1. Go to these web sites. Locate and write down the definitions of what Potential and Kinetic Energy are.
· At what point is there the greatest amount of potential energy?
· What can you do in the simulation to increase the potential energy and the kinetic energy of the car?
3. Now build a roller coaster model. This model should have a starting hill and one other hill to begin with.
You will need the following materials:
You are finished building this model when the marble you have goes through the roller coaster successfully.
Then take your time to answer these questions:
(Note to Instructors: Answer sheets to the Handouts may be obtained by email to the webmaster- firstname.lastname@example.org)
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