AP Physics travels to Hersheypark to study science in coasters, rides


On Friday May 19, Mrs. Jestel’s AP Physics students were given the opportunity to go to Hersheypark and to calculate things about the coasters and other rides using mass, time speed and more.

     The students were allowed to work in groups of four and were given a packet to work on during the day that included information about the rides and questions regarding things like the mass of the ride or finding the velocity of the coasters. Junior Jasmine Owens said, “On the trip we had the opportunity to see physics in its real-world applications. We went around the park and took measurements and answered the questions in the packet about the roller coasters that we saw.”

  Junior Braxton Victor commented how the packet had “called back quite a few units such as circular motion, energy, and kinematics.” Junior Korynn Sims said that her group “worked on Fahrenheit, Storm Runner, Comet, and Great Bear. We had to work on the first two and the other two were easiest to do without actually waiting in line for.”

     One of the main complaints from students was that the park was very busy that day, some students only being able to ride two to three rides with lines that had up to three hour waits according to Junior Emily Vaughn. Vaughn said that she and her friends had waited about an hour for food and lines for everything in the park were very long.

  Sims said the park was too crowded but that gave them the opportunity to do their work in the lines. Victor said other students should go on the trip in the future “if a better day [where Hershey doesn’t bite off more than they can chew] is chosen then absolutely they should” as two events Physics Day where many high school students attended and Music in the Parks were middle school band, chorus and orchestras came to play were both happening that day.

     Vaughn said that the trip could have showcased more of the concepts that they learned. Vaughn continues saying that “some of them were more difficult to see but overall, it was decent.”

     Overall, the trip did end up well for many students.  “It was nice to hang out with my friends,” said Sims and “because it was a good way to get away from regular day stress while also being able to do productive activities,” according to Owens.