Department of Physics, Lund university

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Teacher day in Europa-Park

Physics for the whole body: Amusement park physics at Europa-Park

After the conference Educating the Educators III in Freiburg 7-8 October 2019, we will arrange a teacher day in Europa-Park

From carousels and swings to inclined planes, hills and loops in roller coasters, amusement parks offer many opportunities to experience textbook examples in real life. When it is you own body experiencing forces, acceleration is no longer abstract. With simple equiment, worksheets and phones, we will have the opportunity to study STEM in some of the rides at Europa-Park, including classical rides found in many parks, with different themes. As we walk through the park, we will also look at the mathematical and technological solutions to keep riders safe. Finally, we discuss different formats to arrange school visits: guided tours, worksheets for students or special STEM days, where universities and companies may be involved, providing support and sharing their expertise.

The Europa-Park has generously offered free entrance to the park for participating teachers, as well as access to a conference room. Participants only need to pay for lunch and snacks.

Preliminary program

10:00 Meet close to main entrance
 In conference room:
Welcome to Europa-Park (NN)
Introduction: Carousels and roller coasters in education. (Ann-Marie Pendrill)
11:00 Experiment in the EURO tower (rotating panorama tower)
  Small-group tours of the park with worksheets, including questions relating to the rides KoffieKopjes (Spinning Teacups), Poppy Towers (Zierer FamilienFreiFallTurm), Vienna Wave Swing, Vindjammer (Viking ship), London Bus (Flying carpet ride), British Carousel as well as Dancing Dingie, Flying Dutchman, Mini-Scooters (Bumper Cars) and the Blue Fire roller coaster.
  Lunch on your own
15:00 Reconvene in Conference room to share experiences, get answers to your questions and discuss where to go from this experience.
16:00 End of organized activities: Explore park on your own
18:00 Europa-Park closes

Ann-Marie Pendrill is Professor of Physics and Director of the Swedish National Resource Centre for Physics Education. She has used Amusement Parks in physics teaching since 1995, in Physics, Engineering and Teacher education programmes, as well as in teacher professional development. She has been involved in arranging large-scale STEM days at Liseberg and Gröna Lund in Sweden. Her articles about the work can be found at

Send an email to if you would like to take part in the teacher day at Europa-Park on October 9 or learn more about the project.