Physics and Rollercoasters

Tonight it dawned on me what I’m trying to accomplish by doing Science Night with my kids, as well as all the other fun things we do. I am attracted to every shiny object in the world of Science, Art, Math, Dance, Design, Engineering, or Thought. And so I bounce from new idea to new idea, and try to stuff my kids’ heads with wild and crazy things that will make sure they always know there is more to learn, and it will probably be interesting. That is my goal.

They are five- and eight-years old. They take things apart and put them back together again to figure out the mechanics behind stuff. They imagine and dream and build and destroy. They are absolutely having the times of their lives.

I don’t want to overwhelm them, but I know their brains attach to things that they find mesmerizing, and I want to introduce them to things that will keep them engaged with learning.

Tonight I wanted to check out Physics for Kids. I briefly read through a genius website that shared this as an introduction:


So you’re asking, what is PHYSICS? Everything in the universe has an effect on every other thing. Physicists study those effects. Physics is a science that relates to all other sciences: Chemistry, Biology, Geology, Astronomy, Meteorology, Engineering, etc. If you can name it, chances are physics is involved.

Everything on Earth, everything in our solar system, everything in our galaxy, and everything in the universe moves and interacts, and forces play a big part in that. Physics studies those FORCES and interactions. Let’s get started and look inside the physics of motion. Go take a look!

That’s it for the introduction. Now its up to you to click and have fun! PHYSICS4KIDS is one of many free science sites developed by the team at the Kapili Islands. You may have also used Chem4Kids,Geography4KidsBiology4Kids, or Cosmos4Kids. We have even launched a math activity site called

Now it’s time for you to dive into our physics pages and start learning. Remember, the site offers an introduction to the science of physics. We try to explain the topics with as little math as possible. If you’re not into graphics like home page image above, check out the site map where we list all of the pages of the site for you. Start clicking and have fun!

Mind-bogglingly fun, right? I didn’t take the time to find just the right video to watch with the boys, so we drifted a bit, and their feet started shuffling, and I panicked. I didn’t want to lose their attention. So, I dove at the most crazy YouTube video I could find about speed and motion, and we landed on one about Rollercoasters. I honestly think it was a couple of Physics Grad Students that built this amazing contraption (all computerized), and rigged it to be shown as if a tiny camera is riding on it. It made us feel like we were riding a life-sized bit of gravity-defying, soaring, tilting, spinning, head over tea kettle fun. All this, to German Rock Music.

It is a super long video, and we watched it all the way to the end. Afterward, the boys wanted to take pencils and sketch books to bed so they could start designing their own roller coasters  They have never actually been on one before. I can’t wait to take them to a big amusement park someday.

Ben cannot wait for summer, because he wants to build a life-sized roller coaster in our back field. I wonder what kind of Magical Emporium of Wonder we would live in if every dream in his head, we had the materials to make happen? And then, he goes and makes things out of thin air. That’s what he does! Pure imagination, and wonder, some old string, a board, of course an old cardboard box, and the wheels off a dilapidated tricycle. That is what he works with, and what he creates entire worlds of fun for himself and Bean.

I keep wanting to make sure they don’t run out of ideas. I think they have an upper hand.

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