Energy Skate Park: Basics

Keep calm and half pipe. An exciting simulation teaches pupils about energy transfer from potential to kinetic and thermal as a skater moves through a half pipe or other track. After a brief introduction, scholars can build their own tracks with ramps and jumps in order to design a skate park using mechanical energy.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Have scholars create a graph using the same track, and plot how changing the mass of the skater, or the friction on the track, changes the energy transfer rate
Classroom Considerations

  • Software Requirements include: Windows 7+ with Explorer 10+, Chrome, or Firefox, Mac OS 10.7+ with Safari 6.1, Chrome, or Firefox, iPad with latest Safari, or Chromebook with latest verson of Chrome
  • The intro section doesn't take into account thermal energy transfer and misrepresents what is going on, but the other two sections do include it
Pros

  • Provides an overview of the controls, how to simplify the model, and a video tutorial
  • Includes a large number of teacher-submitted lessons that rely on this simulation
  • Translates into 31 different languages
Cons

  • None