This web page contains an introductory physics homework assignment relating to roller coaster design, developed as an alternative to traditional textbook homework. Students use observational skills and mathematical modeling, combined with basic physics, to design a roller coaster with specified characteristics. The student must formulate a design that is both safe and provides sufficient energy for cars to reach the end of the track. Concepts explored in this problem include gravity, potential and kinetic energy, circular motion, drag due to friction, center of mass, and acceleration. This item is part of a larger collection of alternative homework assignments designed for introductory physics students. Each assignment poses a series of questions about a single context. To successfully complete assignments, students must think critically about how the physical situation could be represented by mathematics.


  • Mathematics > General
  • Education > General

Education Levels:

  • Grade 1
  • Grade 6
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 9


force,NSDL,Motion in One Dimension,Activity Based Physics,Undergraduate (Lower Division),friction,design,Mathematics,Motion in Two Dimensions,Classical Mechanics,acceleration,gravity,Force, Acceleration,Work and Energy,Applications of Newton's Laws,Informal Education,Higher Education,Undergraduate (Upper Division),2D Acceleration,Work,ABP,Gravitational Acceleration,conservation of energy,Physics,Newton's Second Law,Education,oai:nsdl.org:2200/20081205222939978T,circular motion,work,experiential learning,Friction,Engineering,High School,NSDL_SetSpec_439869,Vocational/Professional Development Education,Conservation of Energy,Central Forces,Technology



Access Privileges:

Public - Available to anyone

License Deed:

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike


This resource has not yet been aligned.
Curriki Rating
'NR' - This resource has not been rated
'NR' - This resource has not been rated

This resource has not yet been reviewed.

Not Rated Yet.

Non-profit Tax ID # 203478467