Energy Skate Park

Apply the concepts of conservation of energy to a skater to introduce a fun way the concepts apply to real life. Scholars build tracks, ramps, and jumps then analyze the various types of energy and friction. For an added challenge, players can take the same course to another planet or space and see if the change makes a difference. You never know, this could be the first generation to build a skate park on another planet.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Use balls and incline planes to research ramps and how much energy transfers based on height, texture, and length
  • Show videos of skaters performing jumps on various ramps
Classroom Considerations

  • Requires Java 1.5.0_15 or later for Windows and Linux computers, but Java 1.5.0_19 or later for all Macs
Pros

  • Provides insights into student thinking in order to help teachers understand any misunderstandings
  • Includes many lesson plans that use this simulation, including some for middle school, high school, and college
  • Translates game into 50 different languages, so everyone can participate
Cons

  • None