Physics Students Take On Six Flags

Of the new field trips inspired by the coming of the new Hajjar STEM Center was “Physics Day” at Six Flags! D-E juniors and seniors of the physics classes taught by Science Department teachers Dr. Marco Pagnotta and Tara Weinstein went to Six Flags Great Adventure in April for one of its two Exclusive Education Days, where the theme park was only open to schools. About 60 D-E juniors and seniors analyzed two of 12 pre-selected rides, before going on a few rides for fun. They also enjoyed a “Meet the Engineer” presentation with the chief corporate engineer of Six Flags, Larry Chickola. Chickola shared diagrams, charts, and facts on various Six Flags rides across the nation.

It sounds like fun and games, but a park with roller coasters and other rides is actually an excellent place to study physics, according to Weinstein. She says, “It’s a chance for the students to apply the concepts that they’ve been learning in physics all year (velocity, acceleration, momentum, energy, centripetal motion, light, sound, and electricity) to the real world–while spending a portion of the day upside down!”

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