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Students earn “rollercoasterology” degrees during amusement park field trip

It’s not often students get to spend a school day riding rollercoasters at an amusement park.

But it’s all in the name of science.

“We’re thrilled to marry the concept of an amusement park and education,” said Bob Williams, the general manager of Calaway Park.

Around 1,900 Calgary high school students were at the park on Friday for a physics and science day – a hands-on lesson featuring rollercoasters and other rides.

It’s a partnership between the park, located just west of Calgary, and the University of Calgary, that gives students a chance to earn a mini degree in “rollercoasterology.”

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“We wrote (a) curriculum on physics and science, workbooks, that students can use to mix science and physics and fun all in one day,” Williams said.

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Calgary students on amusement park rides at Calaway Park, as they learn more about science and physics. Global News

The booklet is filled with questions based on rides in the park, with students needing to use their skills in math, science and physics to get the answers.

“Our rollercoaster, the vortex rollercoaster, when you go up the chain and the chain releases you, you are gravity fed. There’s no engine driving the coaster. So, it’s all based on physics that is does the two loops where you go upside down and then come into the station where it brakes. That’s all gravity and that’s physics,” explained Williams.

“I feel that’s a real good way to show that the stuff that we learn in school is very applicable in everyday life,” said Zana, one of the students at the park.

The science and physics day at Calaway Park has been running for over 10 years.

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