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Enjoy this bonus article from our friends at Scholastic MATH magazine!

Take the Plunge

This record-breaking roller coaster opens in Ohio this summer!

Photo courtesy Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio

You’re strapped into a floorless car with 23 other thrill-seekers. Your heart is racing as you inch slowly toward the sky. The car suddenly halts at a peak that’s more than 200 feet high. You dangle there for a few seconds and then plunge to the ground at a sharp 90 degrees.

That’s what it’s like to ride Valravn, the newest addition to Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio. Valravn will break a whopping 10 world records when it opens this month, becoming the tallest, fastest, and longest dive coaster in the world.

“A dive coaster gives its riders the opportunity to dive straight down to Earth,” says Tony Clark, Cedar Point’s director of communications. “The main feature is the holding brake at the top of the hill.” This device creates the nerve-racking pause at the peak.

After the dive, riders are rushed through quick turns, dropped again  down a 131-foot dive, and flipped upside down three times!

You must be 52 inches tall to ride Valravn, but those who are too short (or too scared) can experience the ride through virtual reality. The Valravn Virtual Reality Viewer will give a first-hand, 3-D experience from the safety of solid ground.

Clark thinks those who do brave Valravn will be hooked. “It’s the type of coaster you’ll want to ride over and over again!” he says.

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YOUR TURN

Solve the following mixed-skill questions to learn about the records Valravn will set. Round answers to the nearest whole number. 

Valravn will be the world’s fastest coaster, clocking in at a top speed of 2.01 kilometers per minute. What is its top speed in miles per hour? (Hint: 1 kilometer = 0.62 miles)

With the addition of Valravn, Cedar Point will have the most rides of any amusement park in the world. The park has 18 coasters, which account for 1 out of every 4 rides. How many total rides does the park have?

Valravn has three inversions, the most on a dive coaster. One of the inversions rolls riders 3/4 of the way around a circle. How many degrees do riders spin?

You must be at least 52 inches tall to ride Valravn. Its drop—the longest of any dive coaster—is about 51.5 times the height requirement of riders. How tall is Valravn’s record drop in feet? 

Cedar Point is located in Sandusky, Ohio, about 118 miles away from the capital, Columbus. The length of Cedar Point’s steel roller coaster track is about 8.4 × 10^2 times the distance from Sandusky to Columbus. How much steel roller coaster track does Cedar Point have in miles? Round to the nearest tenth.  

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