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Rainbows End shows ‘Physics in Action’


As part of the NCEA Level 3 Physics Course, students had the day out of school to deepen their knowledge of physics at Auckland’s most recognised theme park, Rainbows End. Accompanied by Mr McKie and Mrs Muir, students were let loose from the moment of arrival to satisfy their curiosities.

The purpose of the trip was for students to familiarise themselves with the mechanisms of a spectrum of rides, applying the laws of physics to illustrate the functionality of each one. During the day, students observed torque, circular motion, simple harmonic motion and other physics principles in action. This excursion was beneficial for both their internal “Application of physics to a selected context” (91522) as well as their external “Demonstrate understanding of mechanical systems” (91524).

Despite a drizzly start to the day, the learners were able to milk out the full experience at Rainbows End. Aside from amplifying their physics knowledge, they proved that they have broken out of their comfort zones. Brave students conquered thrill rides in the likes of the Invader, Fear Fall, Power Surge and Corkscrew Coaster.

As the sweet cherry on top, being a Wednesday, the students made up the bulk of the guest population at Rainbows End. Subsequently, the non-existent lines meant they could breeze through; going on ride after ride without the need for a break.

The weather ended up being the icing to the cake as students let themselves scream and shout and relive their childhood fun. Every ride was well patronised by our students who went racing on the scorpion karts, rushed for numerous consecutive trips on the Log Flume, gained a significant adrenalin rush on the Fear Fall, simply enjoyed themselves on the Corkscrew Coaster and captured memories on the Gold Rush in the form of a photo.

Moreover, although most students claimed there was no such thing as the best part of the day since the whole day was wondrous, many accepted that the true highlight of the day was watching Mr McKie as he vanquished the Invader.

The students ended the day of team building and learning by sharing a delicious meal of KFC.

Through this new lens, students are now able to understand better how physics principles are used to maximise the enjoyment of these real-world amusement rides and realise that there is more to physics than in the classroom.

Special thanks go to Mr Mckie and Mrs Muir for making this stellar day possible for these lucky students.

Katrina Chan