Use your accelerometer to make G-force measurements on the Colossus. This contest has several specific parts to it and each must be completed.


  • Carry your accelerometer on Colossus and make measurements of both the horizontal and vertical accelerations. Using your instrument, determine specific acceleration values that occurred at certain locations on the ride.
  • On official graph paper provided to you when you enter the contest, plot the Colossus acceleration from the start to end of the ride. The graph paper is already labeled with key locations (i.e. top of loop 1, bottom of loop 2, etc.). Hence, your acceleration measurements can be plotted on the graph to aid in sketching the acceleration history.
  • Hand in your accelerometer together with your measurements and graph. The accelerometer and measurements will be evaluated by judges to determine what overall resolution can be achieved by your instrument.

Safety Requirements:

  • The device must be contained within a “box volume” whose dimensions are:
    • width: 8 cm
    • length: 20 cm
    • height: 10 cm
    • Straps and tape to attach the device securely to the student do not have to be within these dimensions.
  • The weight of the entire device must be less than 0.5 kg
  • During the ride the accelerorometer must be securely attached to the operator’s forearm with durable tape and the operator must be free to use both hands to hold on to the ride. Hence freeing one hand during the ride to press a button is not permitted.
  • The device must not interfere with the safety bars on the ride.
  • The device should not be made of glass or other dangerous material
  • The device should not be a set of loose objects which can separate from the secured package.
  • Exotic fluids such as mercury are not permitted.
  • Each accelerometer must be inspected prior to its use on the rides and receive a USU/Lagoon safety inspection sticker.
  • Safety monitors will be stationed at each ride. Any safety violation will result in the immediate disqualification of the team.
  • Accelerometer can be used only on the designated rides at the posted times.


  1. Registration forms are available on-line and must be turned in at the Davis Pavilion by 11:00 AM on Physics Day.
  2. Your accelerometer must conform to the Lagoon/USU safety rules. Each accelerometer must receive a USU/Lagoon safety inspection sticker at registration. Failure means disqualification.
  3. The total cost of parts must be less than $100.
  4. A team may use at the most two accelerometers.
  5. Teams may consist of no more than 3 students. All their names and that of their teacher must be on the entry form.
  6. The Colossus will be available during a limited time period. Special entry into the ride will be available for contestants. A team of ride monitors from USU will be at Colossus during this time to provide assistance.
  7. A Lagoon/USU inspection team and Lagoon Safety Officers are at the entrance to the ride. Should they refuse to let you onto a ride for safety reasons, the organizers offer our apologies in advance. No student/teacher/faculty discussion can reverse a safety ruling.
  8. All results from this G-force measurement experiment may be used only for the sole purpose of this contest at the USU Physics Day. Results of this contest may not be provided in part or whole to any other parties.


  • A properly completed entry form must be submitted.
  • Accelerometers must receive a safety inspection sticker prior to use. A working accelerometer must be submitted for review when the acceleration graph is turned in. Judges may ask contestants questions at this time to help determine the accuracy of the accelerometer and the data collection and analysis methods used.
  • Acceleration histories plotted on official graph paper must be presented in the requested units. The graphs and measurements will be judged to determine how well they agree with the actual values.
  • The judges’ decision is final.


  • 11:00 Registration forms must be turned in at the Davis Pavilion by 11:00 a.m.
  • 11:00-1:30 Measurements on Colossus
  • 2:00 Entry forms due at Lake Park Terrace
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