On Tuesday 9 March the Year 12 Physics students attended the annual Physics students’ day at Luna Park. It was not your typical school excursion as we tackled almost all of the rides and had a look at them from the point of view of the Physics curriculum.


There were approximately 700 students from almost 25 different schools with McKinnon making up over 70 of the total. VCE is considered a tough year and Physics has a reputation of being a very technical and analytical subject so we decided to put some “fun” into fundamental analysis and have a look at what makes a good amusement ride. 

One of the main areas of study in VCE Physics is the study of the forces involved in when something moves, with a particular emphasis on circular motion. With this in mind the Graviton, the Double dragon and the flying Scissors have a totally different perspective. 


From a Physics student’s point of view anything that moves in a circle is described by this equation:


But this doesn’t mean much until you are hanging upside down at the top of the flying scissors, zooming along at the bottom of the double dragon or pressed into your seat harder and harder as the speed builds up on the Graviton. The dodgem cars gave us all a new perspective on the conservation of momentum and also a chance to bump the teacher and truly experience a change in velocity.


A great day was had by all and Physics came to life and moved out of the textbook and into reality.


John Liakakos

Year 12 Physics Teacher