Physics Day at Six Flags

Eleven Lausanne juniors from the SL and HL year 1 IB physics classes ventured off to Physics Day at Six Flags in Eureka, Mo., in April.

Six Flags opens the park on this day once a year to physics students and their teachers. Physics students are able to use actual data from the rides including height of drops, loop radii and other stats to discuss several physics concepts before, during and after the event.

Our Lausanne students prepared during class prior to the trip by using curriculum provided by Six Flags and other physics teachers. They discussed topics such as circular motion, motion graphing, conservation of mechanical energy including the particulars of clothoid loops. They also studied simple harmonic motion, Newton's Laws and conservation of momentum.

Once they were at the park, they calculated maximum velocities, such as the 76 mph obtained on the Superman free fall ride and the best place to sit on the carousel to maximize the fun.

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