THE GRIM REAPER

A WebQuest designed for an honors physics class

involving a roller coaster

 

By Douglas Sample

Dsample@hannasd.k12.pa.us

 

INTRODUCTION | TASK | PROCESS | RESOURCES | EVALUATION | CONCLUSION

INTRODUCTION

The Grim Reaper is a brand new, bone-chilling roller coaster ride designed by your company. You and another colleague have been chosen as the quality control engineers for this exciting project; however, your boss informs you that you only have one week to examine the blueprints and submit a report assessing the design of the roller coaster in certain sections. Any delay will hinder the construction process, causing the company to lose money and possibly costing you, your job.

   

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TASK

YOU MAY CHOOSE ONE PARTNER TO WORK WITH.

Your task will be to review the blueprint submitted by the design team (the teacher) and analyze it for its design mechanics and safety. You will ONLY concern yourselves with the labeled sections on the blueprint. You will use physics principles learned in class and resources cited in this WebQuest. The written report you submit to your boss will show this analysis and will include recommendations to improve any structural flaws inherent in the ride in order to correct them in time for construction. Here are some questions you should consider as you complete your task:

 

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PROCESS

You and your colleague will BE GIVEN A BLUEPRINT DESIGN OF THE GRIM REAPER. You will HAVE ONE WEEK TO submit a WRITTEN report on its design. In this report, you will give a detailed analysis utilizing physics principles on certain labeled sections of the Grim Reaper. finally, you will make recommendations to correct any flaws concerning design and safety, explaining the need for these corrections.

Thoroughly complete the following:

1) For each labeled section of the roller coaster, you will include all calculations that are relevant, such as centripetal acceleration, linear acceleration, instantaneous speed, power, energy lost/gained, energy possessed, centripetal force, net force, ‘g’ forces experienced, and work done.

2) For each of the labeled sections, you will draw a force body diagram (FBD) showing all the forces on the coaster and labeling them.

3) For each of the labeled sections, you will determine if the mechanics of the design are correct. If there are errors present, explain what they are and provide a solution for remediation.

4) For each of the labeled sections, determine whether it is safe for passengers in regards to physiological effects from ‘g’ forces. Provide a solution to rectify any problems.

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RESOURCES

INTERNET LINKS:

GENERAL INFORMATION

http://www.demon.co.uk/arvis/wwg/tech/phcd.html

VELOCITY & ACCELERATION

http://www.pen.k12.va.us/Anthology/Pav/Science/Physics/book/general/home.html

CALCULATIONS

http://www.pen.k12.va.us/Anthology/Pav/Science/Physics/book/mostcalculations/home.html

‘G’ FORCES

http://www.pen.k12.va.us/Anthology/Pav/Science/Physics/book/weightless/home.html

http://www.demon.co.uk/arvis/wwg/tech/ggs.html

PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF ACCELERATION

http://www.pen.k12.va.us/Anthology/Pav/Science/Physics/book/physiology/home.html

LOOPS

http://www.demon.co.uk/arvis/wwg/tech/phld.html

HORIZONTAL & BANKED CURVES

http://www.pen.k12.va.us/Anthology/Pav/Science/Physics/book/curves/home.html

http://www.demon.co.uk/arvis/wwg/tech/phchr.html

BOOKS:

Beiser, Arthur. Physics. Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1991.

Giancoli, Douglas. Physics: Principles with Applications. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1995.

Wilson, Jerry. College Physics. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1997.

Zemansky, Mark. College Physics. Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1991.

 

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EVALUATION

You will be assessed by your performance in the following areas:

1) Correctly identifying all physics-related design flaws

2) Accompanying each flaw with an appropriate, valid solution

3) Drawing a correct FBD for each and every section

4) Completing correct calculations and units for each section

 

NOTE:

A rubric will be used to determine your points earned using five categories. The total points for this project will be 75. A maximum of 3 points will be awarded for each category. Your grade will be calculated by adding your points earned from each category and multiplying by 5. This number divided by 75 points will be your percentage.

See evaluation rubric for point assessment

 

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CONCLUSION

 Congratulations! You made it to the end of this Webquest, and you held on to your job. You've received a first-hand look at the difficulties of designing a roller coaster and improving already existing ones. It's a good thing you know your physics so well; otherwise, many roller coaster ride enthusiasts could have had unpleasant experiences on The Grim Reaper. You surely saved your boss money, and you can tell by the smile on his face that he is appreciative of your efforts. Your company now wants you to fly to the West Coast to take a look at the ride, Loop of Doom. Are you up for it?

 

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RUBRIC FOR GRADE ASSESSMENT:

 

POOR (0-pts)

AVG (1-2pts)

SUPERIOR

(3pts)

PHYSICS DESIGN ERRORS

Identified no flaws.

Missed at least one flaw.

Identified nonflaw as a flaw.

All flaws identified.

No nonflaws identified as flaws.

CORRECT SOLUTION PROVIDED FOR EACH ERROR

No solutions provided .

At least one solution not provided.

An incorrect solution provided.

Correct solutions provided to all flaws.

FORCE BODY DIAGRAM

No FBDs given.

All FBDs are incorrect.

At least one incorrect FBD given.

At least one FBD not given for a section.

Correct FBD given for each labeled section.

USE OF CLASS TIME

Poor use of lab time.

Received several verbal warnings to stay on task.

Good use of lab time.

Received a verbal warning to stay focused on task.

Excellent use of lab time.

Diligent and conscientious all the time.

CALCULATIONS

 

 

 

No calculations given.

At least one missing calculation.

All calculations provided.

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