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WVHS students attend “Physics Day” at Six Flags!

on May 8, 2018

WVHS Physics students at Six Flags "Physics Day" 2018WVHS Physics students and club members learned a lot while having fun at “Physics Day” at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ.

At this student-only event on April 20, students were able to see and feel the principles of physics, and take their knowledge from the classroom and apply it in the outside world.

As students participated in the Physics Day STEM activities, they experienced aspects of acceleration, rotational motion, conservation of energy, and forces – big and small – concepts that are impossible to demonstrate in the classroom environment.

Some students went on the Skyway Kinematics-Skyway Cable Cars, and put their knowledge to the test by attempting to hit a target on the ground from the moving sky ride.

Students also worked on problem-solving projects related to rides in the Six Flags “Physics Workbook,” written by a Physics instructor in partnership with the New Jersey Science Education Leadership Association.

Students were required to complete at least two of the “lab” activities, in which they timed when a particular ride would rise and fall, numbers of revolutions and additional calculations. Based on the information gathered, they would answer questions using their knowledge of physics.

Workbook problems relate to the Physics I curriculum, and focus on the concepts of:
• Newton’s Laws of Motion
• Force & Acceleration
• Kinematics
• Rotational and Circular Motion
• Work, Power, and Energy
• Conservation of Energy and Momentum

In order to complete problems in the Physics Workbook, students:
• Use tools to collect physical data for analysis
• Predict and calculate forces acting on a rider at different points during a ride
• Calculate the work and power necessary to move riders through a ride
• Calculate centripetal acceleration and normal forces acting on riders in circular motion
• Use the conservation of energy to approximate velocities and altitudes of riders at different points in the ride
• Use rotational motion equations to determine linear speed of riders in circular motion

While the day at the park was a fun activity, it was also a day of hands-on learning and practical application of the topics students have worked on throughout the school year to master.

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