When I learned we would be visiting the local amusement park I knew just the book we needed to check out from the library. Exploratopia. The section we needed was Part 2 Exploring Interesting Places, Chapter 10 Amusement Park. I have to note one great thing about our local park is some of the newer roller coasters have explanations posted as to the mechanics and physics of the ride! Great place to start :)
Make Your Own Roller Coaster:
This fun little project helps to demonstrate the properties of potential and kinetic energy along with the law of energy conservation.
What you need:
Pipe insulation sleeves cute in half lengthwise.
(We found these at the local hardware store $1.18 for 6 foot section.
Pool noodles work too.)
A place to set up that includes something to 'create' elevation such as a tree, bookshelf, table, etc.
*what you don't need: a crazy baby kitten to attack your roller coaster!
I have a feeling they will be at this all day :)