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Don't Try This at Home: Daredevils and Thrill Seekers

Twists and Turns and...Quadruple Corks?

Does the idea of riding a roller coaster make you feel thrilled or nauseated? (Or both?) What about flipping upside-down while flying down a ski slope, or hurling yourself off a trapeze? For professional acrobats, elite ski jumpers and snowboarders, and thrill-ride aficionados, defying gravity is all in a day’s work.


what you’ll need



        Ask About Today

        What are some traits of people who seek thrills? How do you think professional thrill-seekers get so good at their crafts?

        Skip the Ads

        Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.


        60 minutes


        The Original Thrill Ride

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        You may think of Walt Disney as the godfather of amusement parks, but their origins date back as far as the Middle Ages. Their popularity took off in the late 19th century with attractions like Ferris wheels and sideshows.

        Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. (Annoying, we agree!) Click the "Skip" button as soon as you can to move ahead to the video.


        Hold Onto Your Hat

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        Humans and our love for thrill is not a modern concept, and some of the world’s first roller coasters were created as early as the 17th century. Since then, we’ve been on a mission for faster, more heart-stopping experiences. Check out some of the most dangerous coasters in the world—if you dare!


        Flips and Dips

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        Can you imagine still performing even after having a near-death accident, falling 30 feet, and breaking your back in three different places? For this flying trapeze couple, the incident was not enough to keep them from performing and providing a thrilling experience that even shocked the America’s Got Talent judges.


        A Snowboarding Phenom

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        Meet Patti. She started snowboarding when she was just 2. But now, at 8 years old, her skills are the envy of most adults. Watch to hear what inspires her to defy the odds.


        5 Flips, Spinning 5 Times Around Yourself!

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        ...That is how you nail the quadruple cork in snowboarding. Marcus Cleveland was just 16 when he became the first person to do one in an actual competition.


        The Science of Movement

        The science and study of how things move is called physics. Sounds like some really hard high school class, but physics can be fun and helps us understand what makes a roller coaster ride so thrilling and what even keeps us in our seat when we loop upside down. Read here to understand how roller coasters work, even though they have no motor.

        For younger explorers

        The Thrills and Chills of Amusement Parks

        How do amusement parks work? Learn all about the science of your favorite rides in this read-aloud of The Thrills and Chills of Amusement Parks.


        30-45 minutes


        Create your own coaster!

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        All you’ll need is a box or old laundry basket that you can fit yourself into, or some chairs lined up in front of the TV for you and each of your family members. Name your roller coaster and decorate it with a theme. If you call it the Thunderbolt, maybe you’ll draw yellow bolts on construction paper and paste them to your coaster. When it’s time to see what a roller coaster feels like from your own home, watch here and use your own motions to mimic what you see. But don’t forget to strap in!

        Need inspiration? Check out how these families did it.


        30 minutes


        Stretch It Out

        Mastering twists and turns requires a really flexible body. Get your workout on with this family as they they go from simple stretches to awesome partner work.


        Twist and Shout

        When you’re done, check out this duo’s moves and see if you can recreate a safe version with someone in your home. Try recording it with a cellphone if you can so that you can see the art you’re; making with your body.