### Zip Line PhysicsA Challenge Based Design Unit

```Zip Line Physics
A Challenge Based Design Unit
Curt Blimline
Williamsburg High School
CEEMS is funded by the National
Science Foundation, grant # 1102990.
Big Idea
Human Safety
• While transporting humans and cargo
• During relaxation and enjoyment experiences
Essential Question
What factors contribute to
the safety and enjoyment
of zip line rides?
The Challenge
Design a zip ride trolley system
with a braking mechanism that
delivers a safe and smooth ride
on a test zip line.
Guiding Questions
1. What are the components of a zip line system?
2. What are zip lines used for?
3. What design characteristics contribute to the
smoothness of the ride?
4. How do you brake a zip line trolley?
Guiding Questions
5. How do you determine the safety of your
design?
6. What forces exist in zip lines?
7. How does friction affect the design of a zip
line?
ACS
 A (real world Application) – Safe and healthy physical
activities
 C (career connections) – Careers affected include
mechanical, structural, and materials engineering
 S (societal impact) – Safe zip lines creates healthy
exercise alternatives as well as effective cargo
transportation for remotely accessible areas
Standards
ONLS
 Air Resistance and Drag
 Friction
 Forces in two dimensions


Motion down inclines
NGSS
 HS-PS2-1.
 HS-ETS1-2.
 HS-ETS1-3.
Standards
Analyze data to support the claim that Newton’s
second law of motion describes the mathematical
relationship among the net force on a macroscopic
object, its mass, and its acceleration.
Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by
breaking it down into smaller, more manageable
problems that can be solved through engineering.
Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem
based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that
account for a range of constraints, including cost,
safety, reliability, and aesthetics as well as possible
social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
 Lesson 1 – Zip Line Basics – the fundamental physics
concepts in zip lines
 Activity 1 – Zip and Deliver – an introduction to
engineering design through an activity on
zip line design
 Activity 2 – Zoom Zoom – investigating the forces
experienced on zip lines
 Lesson 2
– Zip Line Design Project –zip line trolley
system design
 Activity 3 – Zip Stop – designing a rating system for
zip line braking mechanisms
 Activity 4 – Zip Ride – designing a safe zip line trolley
system with a braking mechanism
Zip Line Design
Project
Engineering Design
Vector Resolution in Physics
Vector
Vector 1
Vector 2
Vector 3
Resultant
magnitude
angle x-component y-component
20.0000 30.0000
17.3205
10.0000
30.0000 60.0000
15.0000
25.9808
40.0000 120.0000
-20.0000
34.6410
71.6884 80.1039
12.3205
70.6218
MatLab Code
Automates this process
Graphs the individual vectors
Graphs the individual vectors as if they
were graphed individually (head to tail
method) as well as the resultant vector
MatLab Graphs
MatLab Command Window Results
Resources