Blog  Q&A with West’s Roller Coaster Physics Instructor

Q&A with West’s Roller Coaster Physics Instructor

This summer, we have four amazing workshops at Sci-Tech West – robotics, video game design, astrophysics, and roller coaster physics. We sat down and talked about science, curiosity, and his love of roller coasters with our roller coaster physics instructor, Jonathan Abelson! Keep reading to get all of the details and excitement for this summer.

Q: When you are not teaching Roller Coaster Physics at Sci Tech West, what do you do?
A: I am always looking for cool and fun ways to teach science. I teach science to Kindergarten – 6th grade students at Adat Ari El Day School in Valley Village, CA, I spend time with my family, play guitar or tinker in the garage.

Q: How old are your kids and what do you like to do together as a family?
A: I have a 7 year old girl and a 3 year old boy. We watch movies, go to parks, cook, clean, eat out, eat in, have random dance parties or play music.

Q: What do you like about roller coasters? Do you have a favorite ride?
A: Roller coasters have a raw energy that cannot be replicated in many other places (for example maybe in a fighter jet). The change in velocity, acceleration and applied forces are all very quick and exhilarating. My favorite ride would have to be “The Beast” at Kings Island in Cincinnati, OH. I was raised in Dayton, and I remember waiting on long lines with my dad to ride. As one of the longest wooden roller coasters in the U.S. – it never disappointed. “The Beast” has always been the standard that I measure my personal roller coaster experiences; and, few have measured in comparison.

Q: What sparked your interest in science and when did that first happen?
A: I’m not entirely sure what was the first spark. I feel as if I have always had an interest, as long as I can remember. I certainly took risks with experiments when I was a kid, and enjoyed watching science shows like an old BBC show called “Connections” or PBS NOVA (these were the shows before the Discovery or Science Channels). I have always had an inquisitive nature and curiosity about the world and how it works.

Q: Tell us a little-known or silly fact about yourself!
A: I made an attempt to be a singer-songwriter many years ago. My music still sells on digital platforms in the USA, Europe, the Netherlands and West Asia. It was streamed or purchased at a whopping 127 times in 2017!

Author: rshapiro

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