Friday, July 18, 2014

Hershey Park

This morning I got up early, because we were meeting an hour early to go to Hershey Park. I bought a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast from the Wawa. Then I found out that the cream cheese had bits of  vegetables in it--what the heck? Anyway, I met the rest of the people in the Physics class at 8:00 in front of the quad. We boarded a bus (that supposedly had WiFi, but there was no sign of it) and settled in for an almost-two-hour ride to Hershey Park.

The Claw was apparently very proud to have been created by engineers.
At Hershey Park, we met up with Mary (who had come earlier so that the security guards could make sure all of the accelerometers weren't actually bombs) and every group collected a vest and accelerometer to get data. Then we all scattered through the park to find the rides we signed up to collect data from. As we wandered through the park, we were treated to Christmas songs and giant candy canes--apparently in Hershey Park it's Christmastime all year round.

My group was taking data from The Claw, so Eric and I got in line while Andrew and Jerry stood by exit and took a video of us. We had good data (the accelerometer didn't turn off halfway through) and good first-person and third-person videos the first time we went on, so we saved our data on the accelerometer and went back to where Mary and Bill were waiting so we could transfer the data to Brian's computer.

Really? I would hope any forces are completely expected...
Then we went back into the park to go on other rides--Eric kept wearing the accelerometer vest so that he could get first-person videos of other rides as well. First we did a roller coaster that we didn't realize was actually a kiddie ride, and which only did one loop--it was absolutely not worth the wait in line. Then, because it was already 1:00, we got pizza for lunch. After lunch Eric, Andrew and I did another roller coaster, Sky Rush, while Jerry waited for us by the exit. Sky Rush was much more fun than the previous roller coaster, and it had quite a few long near-vertical drops. When I got off, I actually had a headache. We still had a few hours left after Sky Rush, we waited in line for Storm Runner, which appeared to have one of the longest lines. For some reason, the ride attendants at Storm Runner wouldn't let Eric have his cell phone taking a video from his vest, so we didn't get a video. The Storm Runner ride started very suddenly and had high acceleration throughout, but the safety bars came down right next to my head so every time I was pushed sideways my ears were smashed. (When we were waiting in line, we saw the people coming off the ride rubbing their ears, and we were wondering if their ears had popped or what. No, your ears just get smacked by the safety bars on every curve.) It was very fun though.

We were supposed to meet back at 3:15, but there were a lot of stragglers so we didn't get out of the park until around 3:45, then got on the bus at 4:00. I slept most of the two-hour bus ride back. My group will meet up on Sunday to analyze our data, sync our videos with the accelerometer, and put together our presentation. Tomorrow, though, we're going to Ocean City, New Jersey. I'm looking forward to going to the beach, though apparently the water is really dirty and we shouldn't swim in it.

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