How do rollercoasters keep moving?

Celebrate the Year of Engineering with our latest video resource which explores curriculum science at the theme park.

Two short videos put the topics of energy and motion and forces in a real-life context:

  • How does a rollercoaster get to the top of the ride? covers the curriculum topic of work done. Students learn that engineers need to calculate the work done needed to raise the rollercoaster cars to the top of the ride, as this is one of the things they have to know to work out how powerful a motor the ride will need. 
  • How do rollercoasters keep moving? looks at the topic of energy changes and transfers. Students learn that engineers need to use a motor to raise rollercoaster cars high enough on the first peak to mean that there is enough energy for them to keep moving to the end of the ride. 

Each film includes animation explaining the curriculum science and a short interview with an expert engineer. 

A PowerPoint presentation accompanying each film includes discussion questions and answers, and some questions for students so that they can apply what they have learned. 

Look out for two additional Theme Park films, focusing on the topics of moments and relative motion, will be launched later in spring.