Questions for ‘Cool Jobs: Bringing you summer thrills’

Riding down a zip line can be fun, but the engineers who design these attractions first have to use math and physics to ensure riders will be safe.


To accompany feature “Cool Jobs: Bringing you summer thrills”


Before Reading: 

1.  What is your favorite summertime activity? What kind of science, technology, engineering or math went into making that activity fun and safe?

2.  The people who design amusement park rides often have studied a lot of math and science. Why do you think that’s necessary?

During Reading: 

1.  What classes did Anya Lehrner take in middle and high school to prepare for her career as a roller-coaster designer?

2.  Why did Lehrner’s team make a 3-D model of the InvadR coaster before building it?

3.  What are three things Lehrner’s team does to ensure the safety of its coasters?

4.  Why is Lehner concerned about the g-force a rider experiences on her coasters?

5.  How does chemistry play a role in fireworks displays?

6.  What color do you get if you put strontium carbonate into a firework?

7.  What chemical sets off a firework?

8.  Why is it difficult to build a zip line on flat ground?

9.  Why is it important to consider the strength and size the cables used in a zip line?

10.  What is a headwind?

After Reading: (heading 3)

1.  Draw a roller coaster. Then come up with a step-by-step plan on how to build and test that coaster. Identify the steps in which science, technology, engineering or math will be needed.

2.  Come up with a sequence of 15 colored fireworks for a light show. Using information from the story, list all the chemicals you would need to make those fireworks.


1.  Consider a rider on a zip line who travels 23 kilometers per hour, on average. If the ride is 4 minutes and 22 seconds, what distance will the rider travel?

2.  Consider a rider on a zip line who travels an average of 18 kilometers per hour over a line that is 256 meters long. How long will that ride last?