fastest part of coaster by 1Q9uOIA

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									Problem: Where are the fastest parts of the roller coaster? The slowest?

Collect Information: As you know, the speed changes as a car goes through a roller coaster. You have
also investigated that some roller coasters can have a top speed that is higher than other roller coasters.
That top speed is only takes place at a small segment of the track. Where is that section?

Hypothesis: Predict what part of the roller coaster has the top speed (in complete sentences). Then
predict what part of the roller coaster would have a low speed.

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Procedure:
You will construct a mini roller coaster using copper pipe insulation tubing, a marble, plastic cups, and
masking tape.

1. Take 2 pieces of copper pipe insulation tubing, and make a mini-coaster that has 2 declines, 1 incline,
1 dip, 1 camel back, and 1 straightaway. Do not place masking tape on the track, because it will affect the
speed of the marble. See picture below.




        copper pipe insulation tubing                      cups




2. Measure a 20 cm segment in the middle of the first decline. Mark the beginning by inserting 2
toothpicks on both sides of the track. Do the same for the end of the 20 cm. See picture below.


                                            toothpicks 20 cm apart


                                                                     track

3. Place the marble at the beginning of the track. Let the marble go. Start the stopwatch when the marble
enters the first toothpick gate, and then stop the time when it goes through the second gate. Record the
time into the data table.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3, this time in the dip section.

5. Repeat steps 2 and 3, this time in the middle of the incline section.

6. Repeat steps 2 and 3, this time in the camel back section.

7. Repeat steps 2 and 3, this time in the middle of the 2nd decline section.

8. Repeat steps 2 and 3, this time in the last straight away.
Data:
   Part of         Distance of Segment
                                                       Time (sec)                    Speed (cm/sec)
   Coaster                 (cm)
 st
1 decline                    20


dip                          20


incline                      20


camel back                   20


 nd
2 decline                    20


straight-away                20



Analysis/Conclusion:
Calculate the speed (using the formula for speed) of the marble for each section. Now look at your data
closely. Which part of the coaster has the highest speed? Which part of the coaster has lower speeds?
Write a final answer to the problem. Was your hypothesis correct or not? Why is that spot the fastest?
What makes it so fast (forces?)? Why the slowest spot so slow? Explain using complete sentences, and
make sure you write down data that led you to your answer.

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Test Your Ideas:
So do you think you know where the top speed is on a roller coaster? Go to the funderstanding roller
coaster (http://www.funderstanding.com/k12/coaster/) to test your ideas. Without changing any of the
settings, start the coaster and stop it at the different parts of the coaster. What are the speeds in each
part?

								
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