Informal Science

Playgrounds and Amusement Parks

Amusement Park and Playground physics ideas are zooming around again. Here is a collection of LC and external resources to start your activities rolling along. If you can not take your students ' out to a park' for the day, consider having them design and build rides. Playground equipment works well to stimulate learning, too. patty

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45895 Activity Points

Hi Patty, Don't forget to add the information -attachments. Thanks, Carolyn

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
79968 Activity Points

Good idea, especially beneficial when it comes to Title 1 schools.

Cinthia Rodriguez
Cinthia Rodriguez
4485 Activity Points

I thought that this collection had uploaded. Apparently it did not so here it is. Enjoy! ~patty


Amusement Park Physics Collection
(9 items)
Clarence Bakken's Physics Day in CA
     -User Uploaded Resource
Supplemental materials for Amusement Park Physics
     -User Uploaded Resource
Annenberg Leaarner Interactive: Amusement Park Physics
     -User Uploaded Resource

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45895 Activity Points

Hi: I use to do a workshop about playground science and into this workshop I stressed simple machines. Now I see that this topic is in several museums as well as some interesting websites. http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/science/activities/first-second-grade/playground/ http://www.ptotoday.com/pto-today-articles/article/363-a-playground-that-teaches-science https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/physics-playground# http://eisforexplore.blogspot.com/2012/04/playground-science.html That is just some. Adah

Adah Stock
Adah Stock
101490 Activity Points

Wow Adah your post gave me lots of ideas for adding some interesting elements to our playground time. Thank you so much for sharing. Here's one more for your collection: http://www.education.com/magazine/article/preschool-science-playground/

Margaret Stout
Margaret Stout
3400 Activity Points

Thank you Patty for bringing this back to the forefront. It always amazes me how some of the “old classics” still hold a fascination for my middle school students. There is so much to be learned in terms of physics when a student has the opportunity to “build” their own amusement park. Many years ago I discovered K’Nex had an entire Amusement Park series. You can purchase them either as individual components or the whole amusement park education set. When you buy the latter, you get a teacher’s guide as well as the ability to build several of the same models simultaneously. The reason I love the K’Nex series is they are durable for students to use. The parts don’t break easily, but are flexible in their configurations. I have found once students built the ride in the kit, they were better able to come up with their own rides as well as successfully map out where each ride should go and why. There are a lot of different K’Nex Amusement Park sets, large and small. The price of course goes up when you add motors and height. I’ve stuck with the relatively simple rides mostly due to space. I’ve included a few of the links to Amazon so you can see the possibilities. Roller Coaster http://www.amazon.com/KNEX-Amazin-Coaster-Building-Set/dp/B00CPNLXRE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403828319&sr=8-1&keywords=k%27nex+amusement+park Supersonic Swirl http://www.amazon.com/KNEX-Supersonic-Swirl-Building-Set/dp/B00CPNLECI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1403828319&sr=8-3&keywords=k%27nex+amusement+park Pirate Ship http://www.amazon.com/KNEX-Micro-Amusement-Pirate-Building/dp/B004M8ROBE/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1403828319&sr=8-4&keywords=k%27nex+amusement+park Swing Ride http://www.amazon.com/KNEX-Micro-Amusement-Swing-Building/dp/B004M8ROB4/ref=pd_sim_t_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1NDQ5V8Q02AB6SWBDQRQ Ferris Wheel http://www.amazon.com/Collect-Build-Amusement-Series-Ferris/dp/B003MGJTEM/ref=pd_sim_t_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1860P0CS2APR09ZF1D9J Corkscrew http://www.amazon.com/Collect-Amusement-Series-Corkscrew-Coaster/dp/B003CXRMCG/ref=pd_sim_t_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1A54SF56FWM771N0RFRC Vertical Viper http://www.amazon.com/Collect-Build-Amusement-Series-Vertical/dp/B003CYJDM2/ref=pd_sim_t_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1F592NHQ033Q8TG0FWZQ Star Shooter Coaster http://www.amazon.com/KNEX-Star-Shooter-Coaster-Building/dp/B00CPNKPG4/ref=pd_sim_t_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=0GFG7V8P7TN823QC5FD7 Thrill Rides Phoenix Roller Coaster http://www.amazon.com/Thrill-Phoenix-Roller-Coaster-Building/dp/B009IX4JPW/ref=pd_sim_t_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1H0TVW93TN9WVZQ71ACX Firestorm Freefall Coaster http://www.amazon.com/KNex-Firestorm-Freefall-Coaster/dp/B009SEDYV6/ref=pd_sim_t_4?ie=UTF8&refRID=0AQAYMK5A0HS67XGHEKF Super Nova Blast Roller Coaster http://www.amazon.com/Thrill-Supernova-Roller-Coaster-Building/dp/B00CTUEPLY/ref=pd_sim_t_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0B2T1KHXBSH3GE6KNVBA Atomic Coaster http://www.amazon.com/KNex-51441-KNEX-Atomic-Coaster/dp/B00857SRVO/ref=pd_sim_t_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=19E0RPQG99W24G9GPE2N Super Cyclone Coaster http://www.amazon.com/Super-Cyclone-Coaster-Motorized-Building/dp/B0064AGK2M/ref=pd_sim_t_5?ie=UTF8&refRID=0WN89JSP2V69GDDQ1ZR0 Cosmic Twist Coaster http://www.amazon.com/KNex-51047-Cosmic-Twist-Coaster/dp/B004S663I0/ref=pd_sim_t_9?ie=UTF8&refRID=11KW0CMJS49J58AMH69A Rippin Rocket Coaster http://www.amazon.com/KNex-51047-Cosmic-Twist-Coaster/dp/B004S663I0/ref=pd_sim_t_9?ie=UTF8&refRID=11KW0CMJS49J58AMH69A Initially I purchased most of my kits at Target after Christmas while they were on sale many years ago. If I were to do it again, I would purchase the educator sets only because you get more K’Nex, more ability to build more models and greater freedom to create student created models.

Sandy Gady
Sandy Gady
42985 Activity Points

This is so interesting! I had never explored the idea of playground science before and I think students would absolutely flip to know that their everyday fun equipment can be used to learn something! Thanks for sharing.

Barbara Villarnovo
Barbara Villarnovo
2955 Activity Points

Hi Barbara, It is neat to latch onto new ideas. Give us a shout and let us know if you have the opportunity to follow up with using the playground as a science venue. Best to you, ~patty

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45895 Activity Points

I think building or designing a ride is a great idea. It can be an introduction to physics for the children. They have to figure out how to build the ride to make it work. I think this would be a very fun and educational project.

Jennifer Cooper
Jennifer Cooper
2025 Activity Points

Hi Jennifer, And you could add a bit of an engineering challenge by limiting the kids of items to those found around the house- spools of thread, boxes, empty plastic bottles, oatmeal boxes, Old Tinker toys or popsicle sticks and glue, elastic bands, flexible plastic ramps and toy cars, etc. etc. etc. Brainstorm with the children and see what pops into their heads. And please, be sure to check back with us if you explore your idea. ~patty

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45895 Activity Points

Hello, I think this is a great idea for older kids I think. I think talking them to the amusement park as a field trip and seeing, feeling, and experiencing the physics in play on the rides is a good experiences. Then have a follow up activity where students are to design their own roller coaster our of building blocks or leggos. Students would have to apply the physics they learned to designing their own ride.

Jaclyn St. Armand
Jaclyn St. Armand
2840 Activity Points

I think taking students to the amusement parks is a great idea. You can incorporate engineering and physics while your visit. If an amusement park is not at your reach then you can totally use the schools playground. Any science lesson can be incorporated. These ideas will take the students out of the class room and try real world application.

Mariana Morales
Mariana Morales
885 Activity Points

Great ideas. Thanks.

Ana Vargas
Ana Vargas
1165 Activity Points

Hello! I find this topic to be fascinating and can be super interesting to children. I think that this topic has great potential for some STEM actives in classrooms. Thank you so much for the links and information. These were super interesting to read. Heather

Heather Brown
Heather Brown
2125 Activity Points

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