Michael R. Gallis
Anne Cox, and
The EJS Roller Coaster model explores the relationship between kinetic, potential, and total energy as a cart travels along a roller coaster. Users can create their own roller coaster curve and observe the resulting motion.
The Roller Coaster model includes three supplemental documents (see below) that include a middle school lesson plan, and the teacher and student version of the program.
The Roller Coaster model was created using the Easy Java Simulations (EJS) modeling tool. It is distributed as a ready-to-run (compiled) Java archive. Double clicking the jar file will run the program if Java is installed.
Please note that this resource requires
at least version 1.5 of
Roller Coaster Energy Model: Teacher Version
The EJS Roller Coaster Energy Model: Teacher Version shows the motion and energy of a car on a roller coaster track. You can change the track shape and add… more... download 1290kb .jar
Published: June 17, 2009
Roller Coaster Energy Model: Student Version
The EJS Roller Coaster Energy Model: Student Version is a simulation for physical science (middle and high) school students. It shows the motion and energy… more... download 996kb .jar
Published: June 17, 2009
Roller Coaster Energy Model: Lesson Plan
A pdf file with a teacher lesson plan for use with the Roller Coaster Energy Model. This lesson plan is also packaged within the teacher version of the… more... download 145kb .pdf
Published: June 17, 2009
Roller Coaster Energy Model: Student Worksheet
A pdf file with a student worksheet for use with the Roller Coaster Energy Model. This worksheet is also packaged within the student version of the… more... download 88kb .pdf
Last Modified: March 21, 2010
Roller Coaster Model source code
The source code zip archive contains an XML representation of the Roller Coaster Model. Unzip this archive in your Ejs workspace to compile and run this… more... download 361kb .zip
Published: October 27, 2008
6-8: 4E/M1. Whenever energy appears in one place, it must have disappeared from another. Whenever energy is lost from somewhere, it must have gone somewhere else. Sometimes when energy appears to be lost, it actually has been transferred to a system that is so large that the effect of the transferred energy is imperceptible.
6-8: 4E/M4. Energy appears in different forms and can be transformed within a system. Motion energy is associated with the speed of an object. Thermal energy is associated with the temperature of an object. Gravitational energy is associated with the height of an object above a reference point. Elastic energy is associated with the stretching or compressing of an elastic object. Chemical energy is associated with the composition of a substance. Electrical energy is associated with an electric current in a circuit. Light energy is associated with the frequency of electromagnetic waves.
9-12: 4E/H1. Although the various forms of energy appear very different, each can be measured in a way that makes it possible to keep track of how much of one form is converted into another. Whenever the amount of energy in one place diminishes, the amount in other places or forms increases by the same amount.
9-12: 4E/H9. Many forms of energy can be considered to be either kinetic energy, which is the energy of motion, or potential energy, which depends on the separation between mutually attracting or repelling objects.
6-8: 4F/M3a. An unbalanced force acting on an object changes its speed or direction of motion, or both.
9-12: 4F/H7. In most familiar situations, frictional forces complicate the description of motion, although the basic principles still apply.
11. Common Themes
6-8: 11B/M1. Models are often used to think about processes that happen too slowly, too quickly, or on too small a scale to observe directly. They are also used for processes that are too vast, too complex, or too dangerous to study.
6-8: 11B/M2. Mathematical models can be displayed on a computer and then modified to see what happens.
6-8: 11B/M4. Simulations are often useful in modeling events and processes.
12. Habits of Mind
12C. Manipulation and Observation
6-8: 12C/M3. Make accurate measurements of length, volume, weight, elapsed time, rates, and temperature by using appropriate devices.
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics Alignments
Standards for Mathematical Practice (K-12)
MP.4 Model with mathematics.
Ratios and Proportional Relationships (6-7)
Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve
6.RP.1 Understand the concept of a ratio and use ratio language to describe a ratio relationship between two quantities.
Expressions and Equations (6-8)
Reason about and solve one-variable equations and inequalities. (6)
6.EE.6 Use variables to represent numbers and write expressions when solving a real-world or mathematical problem; understand that a variable can represent an unknown number, or, depending on the purpose at hand, any number in a specified set.
Work with radicals and integer exponents. (8)
8.EE.2 Use square root and cube root symbols to represent solutions to equations of the form x² = p and x³ = p, where p is a positive rational number. Evaluate square roots of small perfect squares and cube roots of small perfect cubes. Know that ?2 is irrational.
Use functions to model relationships between quantities. (8)
8.F.5 Describe qualitatively the functional relationship between two quantities by analyzing a graph (e.g., where the function is increasing or decreasing, linear or nonlinear). Sketch a graph that exhibits the qualitative features of a function that has been described verbally.
%0 Computer Program %A Gallis, Michael %D October 27, 2008 %T Roller Coaster Model %E Christian, Wolfgang %8 October 27, 2008 %U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=8228&DocID=873
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