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Roller Coaster Model Documents

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Main Document

Roller Coaster 

written by Michael R. Gallis
edited by Wolfgang Christian
content provider: Barbara Christian, Anne Cox, and Mario Belloni

The EJS Roller Coaster model explores the relationship between kinetic, potential, and total energy as a cart travels along a roller coaster. Students can choose from five track configurations or create their own roller coaster curve and observe the resulting motion. As the simulation plays, energy bar graphs show the changing levels of kinetic and potential energy. Switch to "stepped motion" to see points at which both forms of energy reach maximum and minimum levels. Users can also control the initial speed of the cart and add friction, enabling the resource to be adaptable to a range of levels from middle school through high school.

This item was created with Easy Java Simulations (EJS), a modeling tool that allows users without formal programming experience to generate computer models and simulations. To run the simulation, simply click the Java Archive file below.

Last Modified February 26, 2014

This file has previous versions.

Supplemental Documents (4)

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 friction. EJS Roller Coaster Energy Model is a simulation for physical science (middle and high) school students. It is distributed as a ready-to-run (compiled) Java archive.  Double clicking the ejs_middle_school_teacher_RollerCoasterEnergy.jar file will run the program if Java is installed. It includes a teacher lesson plan (and answer key).

Published June 17, 2009
Last Modified February 11, 2010

This file has previous versions.

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 of a car on a roller coaster track.  You can change the track shape and add friction. It is distributed as a ready-to-run (compiled) Java archive.  Double clicking the ejs_middle_school_RollerCoasterEnergy.jar file will run the program if Java is installed.

Published June 17, 2009
Last Modified February 11, 2010

This file has previous versions.

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 ready-to-run jar file.

Published June 17, 2009
Last Modified March 21, 2010

This file is included in the full-text index.
This file has previous versions.

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 ready-to-run jar file.

Last Modified March 21, 2010

This file is included in the full-text index.
This file has previous versions.

Source Code Documents

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 model using Ejs.

Published October 27, 2008
Last Modified May 27, 2009

This file has previous versions.