Students at Phelps are able to choose an area of focus for Major Unit classes. WINGS students have shown interest in a class offering of Roller Coaster Physics. In this course, students will study the physics and mathematics involved in roller coaster design and function.
In addition to building roller coasters from kits in the classroom, students will participate in a trip to Silver Dollar City. This is to experience the forces acting upon a rider while on different parts of the rides, practice mathematical equations relating to roller coasters, and noting design features and thematic elements that lend to the overall experience. Silver Dollar City has curriculum offerings tied directly to the structure and function of roller coasters, making the field trip even more meaningful.
On return to the classroom setting, WINGS students will design and build a roller coaster using their experience to help create their own project.
- Need Represented: Field trips greatly enhance the work done in classrooms by creating a real-world connection to the material being studied.
- Academic Impact: This project would lead students to higher level math and science topics while creating a real-world connection. Since students have been requesting this topic, it is already relevant and personal. Engagement will be shown not only through the field trip experience, but with the hands-on portion of class as well.
- Student Population: The WINGS Program (Working with the Individual Needs of Gifted Students) is designed to identify academically gifted students. The purpose of the program is to provide academic challenge and rigor as well as address the social/emotional needs of the gifted student. Students attend one full instructional day per week. WINGS serves middle school students from every SPS middle school program, as well as home-school and private school students.