I got this idea from Frank Sobierajski at the ISTE 2011 conference. It fits nicely in our Math 10C and Math 20-3 curricula. His take on the subject is available on this teacher tube video.
I took his idea and found a Canadian roller coaster. Let’s take our students on a virtual roller coaster ride. Most roller coasters have Point of View (POV) videos available. I suggest finding one near you.
Bring up some facts about the roller coaster. This one claims to have a 75 degree drop.
Find a picture of it, like this one.
Have students import that image into GeoGebra, and check the math behind the 75 degree claim.
This 75 degree claim is either false, or the angle on the picture I found isn’t right. It’s possible that I haven’t measured from the same places they did. No matter what, it’s a good conversation in class.
I would follow up by having students find their own and check the claims made about them.