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Friday, August 23, 2013

Science of Roller Coasters

Hello World!
I apologize I have been slacking on the blog department lately, things have been quite busy... lots of fun science from diversity and culture to vision and STEM advocacy, even a little break for a theme park! Which brings me to today's topic- Roller Coasters! To me they are the definition of summer (almost over or almost beginning depending on where you are in the world). The speed, the thrill, the physics! The science of perception! What's not to love?
Picture I took at Universal

One of my favorite rides was advertised as a "psychological thriller" and involved cognitive elements of surprise, fear, falling, and more, in addition to the elements of speed, thrill of inversion, and surprise twists and turns. What is even cooler than the experience is the elements of STEM that go into it! Just think, you could design the ride, the safety measures, the lines that people must wait in, or the rides themselves. This woman didn't realize she was going to be a roller coaster professional, but she loves it!
http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_magazine/previous_issues/articles/2004_12_24/nodoi.4287329994723845200 Every think about the history of roller coasters? You can see that Granville T. Woods was a major force behind roller coaster (and many other!) designs.



Interested in designing your own coaster? Check out this link http://www.discoverengineering.org/
or this blog about roller coasters http://www.coasteroftheday.com/how-to-design-roller-coasters.html  it highlights the importance of passion and imagination in conjunction with science skills. Parents or teachers who wish to help your kids might find this link helpful http://faculty.education.ufl.edu/JonesG/articleCoasters.htm

Well, back to my roller coaster ride of life!
:)

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