Kinetic and Potential Energy roller coaster worksheets help develop the physical motion of a roller coaster. To get this information, have your child look at a close up picture of a typical standard coasters, but focus on the top of the ride, including the loops and turns. Let your child count down from ten and then ask them to think about what it feels like to ride the top of the coaster. If you’re having trouble thinking about it, you can ask your child to describe the feeling of the ride to you, asking them to use phrases like “I feel like I’m going up”I feel like I’m falling down.”
What is it that makes the coaster ride feel like it’s going up? To know this, find a picture of a standard roller coaster with the loop on the top and think about how fast the ride will go, how much time you think the ride will take, and how you’d like to be on the top when it reaches this speed.
The kinetic energy roller coaster worksheet has several pictures showing this process of increasing in speed. When your child finds the speed that makes them feel like they’re going up, you’ll need to ask them what it feels like to ride that speed. Try to find a way for your child to describe this feeling to you.
You also need to look at pictures of a standard coaster to find the layout of the loop. Tell your child that a loop ride includes two curves and that one curve is bigger than the other. Ask your child to pick the “bigger” curve. This curve is the “bigger” one because it has more energy in it.
Once your child finds the curve that has more energy, you need to tell them that you are going to explain the difference between kinetic and potential energy in a simple way. Explain that a coaster ride does not use up the same amount of kinetic energy, nor does it use up the same amount of potential energy. Instead, it uses both kinetic and potential energy, which makes it move up and down the loop.
Now let’s compare this concept to car rides, as well as to a bike ride, and then to an airplane ride. It is important for your child to learn that the coaster ride does not make the ride in the roller coaster. A coaster ride does not move up and down the loop in a motion that uses up the same amount of energy as a motor car or plane flight.
Coaster rides do not use up the same amount of energy that car rides or plane flights do, so your child should use the worksheet to help them understand why they cannot ride the coaster in a vehicle the way they could ride them on the top of the coaster. At the end of the day, when your child is ready to understand how a car or plane ride works, you will be ready to help them see why this same idea applies to the coaster ride.
Now that you know the difference between kinetic and potential energy, and how they work together to move up and down the loop in coaster rides, you will want to ask your child what it feels like to ride a coaster. Help them understand that the ride is made up of both kinetic and potential energy, so they can explain why they feel the way they do when they are on the top of the loop.