Ride A (virtual) Roller Coaster


I originally posted this idea on my blog in this form.

This introductory activity will have students examine claims made about roller coasters on amusement park websites.

Begin by showing the class a Point of View (POV) video like this one:

Bring up some facts about the roller coaster.  This one claims to have a 75 degree drop.

Find a picture of it, like this one.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:900behe.jpg

At this point, have students manually impose a grid over the coaster and work with the website claims.

On my original post, I suggested importing that image into GeoGebra, which can be done if you and your students have those skills.

This 75 degree claim is either false, or the angle on the picture I found isn’t right. It’s possible that I haven’t measured from the same places they did. No matter what, it’s a good conversation in class.


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