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Scream machines: where to find America's roller coasters.

Americans didn't invent the roller coaster. That honor goes to the Russians who slid down steep wooden slides covered with ice in the 1780s. But die U.S. is where the sort of scream machines we know about first got rolling.

In eastern Pennsylvania, thrill-seekers were drawn to a nine-mile railway built in 1827. Coal-filled carts, propelled by the force of gravity, careened down a track from mountaintop mines to a loading dock below, but mine operators let people ride after-hours for a fee.

Today, the U.S. has more roller coasters--about 650--than any other country. (In second place is China, with almost 500.) To find out where they are, study this map. It's divided into the four main regions defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.



QUESTIONS Write your answers on a separate sheet of paper

1. Which state has the most roller coasters?

2. Which region has the most roller coasters?

3. How many states have no roller coasters?

4. Which state had the first "unofficial" roller coaster?

5. Which region has the fewest states?

6. How many states in that region have more than 40 roller coasters?

7. Which of the four regions have at least one roller coaster in every state?

8. Which regions have at least two states in the 26-to-75 category?

9. How many regions have states with more than 75 roller coasters?

10. Why do you suppose the U.S. has more roller coasters than any other country?


1. California (79)

2. South (198)

3. six: Alaska, Hawaii, Wyoming, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Delaware

4. Pennsylvania (the coal carts)

5. Northeast (nine)

6. three (New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey)

7. Midwest

8. Northeast and South

9. one (West)

10. Answers will vary.
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Title Annotation:GEOSKILLS
Publication:Junior Scholastic
Geographic Code:1U2PA
Date:Jan 30, 2012
Previous Article:The U.S. in focus, part 2.
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