Students attend Knott’s annual Physics Fun Day

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BUENA PARK – It’s not every day that California High School junior Sergio Quirarte gets extra credit in physics class by riding roller coasters. But that’s exactly how he and about 8,000 other students from high schools around Southern California spent Thursday. Armed with accelerometers, inclinometers and stopwatches, the students reinforced what they have covered in physics class by figuring out the speeds of the rides at Knott’s Berry Farm, as well as the rides’ highest points and distances. It was all part of Knott’s annual Physics Fun Day. “I think it really brings the textbooks to life,” said Knott’s spokeswoman Jennifer Blazey. Patterned after a similar event at Six Flags Magic Mountain, Knott’s started the event eight years ago, she said. “It interests kids because they’re already interested in roller coasters, so it combines that with what they’re already learning in physics,” Blazey said. For Quirarte and about 50 other Cal High physics students in teacher Laurie Thomas’ classes, it was “the best homework assignment,” Quirarte said. “Our extra credit is going on the log ride,” said the 16-year-old, whose “study” group included Kim Garcia, 17, Ray Gibbs, 16, Francisco Amezquita, 16, and Jeff Valencia, 16. “Really, you can explain anything with physics,” Quirarte said as his group waited to board the GhostRider coaster. “And by doing this, it helps you see firsthand how physics works in everyday life.” The day also featured a paper tower-building contest and a paper airplane game, as well as a presentation in the afternoon called, “The Physics Behind the Rides.” It was the second year Thomas brought her students to Knott’s Physics Fun Day. But she nearly ran out of time to organize the field trip, almost canceling it altogether. “The school is going through accreditation next week, and the timing was just bad,” Thomas said. “So I e-mailed some of last year’s students and asked them whether they thought it was worthwhile. “And one e-mail said it was pretty worthwhile, that it was fun, but it really did make him think about some of the things he was taught in class,” she added. “He’s in college now, so I figured I would give this year’s students the opportunity to experience it.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051last_img

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