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Drayton Manor Visit

27 September 2019

On Friday 27th September, 80 Year 11 students visited Drayton Manor Theme Park and Zoo for a workshop on the ‘physics and mechanics of a roller coaster’. The specialist education team at Drayton Manor provided an excellent session explaining energy and forces including the kinetic & potential energy on rollercoasters and rides, safety features and lift mechanisms, controlling of rides, friction brakes and fail-safe pneumatic RAM vs eddy-current magnetic brakes.

Students then spent the remainder of the afternoon applying their learning: The torrential downpours didn’t stop Wolverley students from enthusiastically riding roller coasters and visiting the zoo! The swinging pirate ship and Apocalypse were superb discussion points for changes in gravitational energy and kinetic energy. Shockwave and Accelerator allowed students to identify the hydraulic and magnetic braking and reduction in frictional heat energy.

Not only was this an excellent opportunity for learning about forces (the current Year 11 physics topics) it also allowed revision of previous topics on energy and electricity, as well as providing an opportunity for some well needed relaxation time for students as mock exams approach. The science department were very pleased at the enthusiasm shown by the students and their maturity during the workshop, they were keen to ask questions and were very respectful. We were very proud of their attitude through the day and hope it continues to enthuse them to revise and link science to the things that they enjoy. Energy changes will be one of the topics on the up and coming mock exams – we hope this trip allowed them to build understanding as well as confidence.