Activities & Lesson Plans - 5th & 6th Grade Newsletter Fastest Roller Coasters In The World

Grade: 5th-6th


June 21, 2010 | Grades 5&6

In This Issue: Harry Potter Theme Park, Limiting Lead in Toys, A Sea Turtle on Video

Harry Potter Theme Park
As schools across the country close for the summer, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry throws open its doors to ecstatic Muggles. As of June 18, you don't have to have magical powers to step into a world of flying broomsticks, moving paintings and invisibility cloaks. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort recreates Harry's school and the village of Hogsmeade for fans to enjoy. 
Activity Ideas - MathTwo roller coasters—Dragon Challenge and Flight of the Hippogriffs—are ready to roll. The rides may look magical, but they couldn't keep up with the world's fastest (see below).

1. Kingda Ka, Six Flags Great Adventure, New Jersey                   128 mph
2. Top Thrill Dragster, Cedar Point, Ohio                                      120 mph
3. Dodonpa, Fuji-Q Highland, Japan                                           106.8 mph
4. Steel Dragon 2000, Nagashima Spa Land, Japan                         95 mph
5. Millennium Force, Cedar Point, Ohio                                          93 mph

  • What is the speed limit of the street that you live on? Based on this, Kingda Ka is ______ times faster than a drive down your street. About 4 times faster, if street is 30 mph. (128 mph ÷ 30 mph = 4.3)
  • Kingda Ka travels from 0 to 128 mph in 3.5 seconds. Round up the seconds, then determine how much it would have to accelerate per second* to reach top speed. 32 mph (128 mph ÷ 4 seconds = 32) *this is not necessarily how the coasters gain speed.
  • Dodonpa travels from 0 to 106.9 mph in 1.8 seconds. Round up both numbers, then determine how much it would have to accelerate per second to reach top speed. 54 mph (107 mph ÷ 2 seconds = 53.5 mph)
  • Imagine that you could drive 128 mph on the highway. At that speed, how long would it take you to drive from New York City to Los Angeles, 2788 miles? 22 hours (2788 miles ÷ 128 mph = 21.7 hours) 
  • How long would it take you to get there if you drove typical speed of about 60 mph? First, estimate your answer based on the info above. Estimate answer: twice as long, or 42 hours. 47 hours. (2788 miles ÷ 60 mph = 46.5 hours)

Learning Tips: Develop Strategies to Help You
Take a Virtual Ride at Kideos: Kingdom Ka

Testing Toys for Lead

Two years ago, a child-safety law went into effect to protect children from toys containing lead. Now, many small toy retailers say they can't afford the third-party testing required for certification. Congress and the Consumer Product Safety Commission continue to grapple with ways to protect children and small businesses, some of which had never been a part of the problem. 

Activity Ideas - Language Arts

  • What question is this story addressing? How can lawmakers protect kids from lead toys without hurting the smaller, sometimes safer retailers? 
  • Why is it important to protect kids from lead, as explained in the story? Even small amounts can have big effects—low levels of lead exposure have a proportionally higher impact than larger amounts. Lead can hurt children's IQs.
  • What are the conclusions of this article? It is more important to protect children than worry about small businesses; it may not be as costly or damaging as some businesses say; and the law may be able to accommodate changes to minimize negative impact on small businesses
Learning Tips: Main Ideas

A Turtle's-Eye View
An unidentified sea turtle is having its 5 minutes of fame. After filming itself swimming about, the turtle let the digital camera float onto a beach in Key West. A Coast Guard agent found the digital camera, watched the video, and put it online hoping its owner would come forward. The human photographer did turn up, but in the meantime the sea turtle's swimming video made a big splash on YouTube. Now, just how did the turtle turn on the camera?

Activity Ideas - Math
  • There are an estimated 45,000 nesting female loggerhead sea turtles. Each lays 4 nests per season with an average of 100 eggs; how many total eggs would that be per season, based on a population estimate of 45,000? 18 million eggs (4 nests x 100 eggs = 400 eggs per nesting turtle) (45,000 nesters x 400 eggs = 18,000,000)
Use the formula above to solve the following problems.

Green Sea Turtle
Population Estimate: 88,520 nesting females
About 3 nests per season
Lays an average of 115 eggs in each nest
Total eggs/season: 30,539,400 

Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle
Population Estimate: 2,500 nesting females
About 2 nests per season
Lays an average 110 eggs in each nest
Total eggs/season: 550,000

Learning Tips: Develop Strategies to Help You

Game of the Week

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