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Name: Nils S.
Status: educator
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 3/19/2003

I am doing the amusement park physics in May at Six Flags in NJ. I need to prepare the measurement devices and have seen the ones offered by Pasco. Any ideas of how to make my own or get plans to make them. Just wondering if you had a Amusement park guru around that now's a $$ saving option. Thanks

Nils "Strapped for Cash" S.

The Pasco kit gives 15 sets for little money.

The horizontal accelerometer is a protractor with a suspended weight. What Pasco (and Ron DeFronzo and I) did was to put the "weight" (copper shot) in a plastic tube to reduce wind resistance.

For a vertical accelerometer, you can use a spring with a mass and calibrate it according to Hooke's Law. We used a fishing weight on a spring (getting the right spring is extremely difficult) inside of a thermometer tube.

String works well for a baseline measurement.

Per student, an entire kit is just a few dollars. You may wish to add that cost to the field trip cost and let them fabricate and keep their accelerometers.

As far as "plans", look at the Amusement Park Physics book (2nd edition) published by J. Weston Walch or the Amusement Park Physics book (escobar) published by AAPT.


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