😄The British Columbia Thriller Coaster🎢

Hello everyone!

Since winter break ended we’ve done two different skill sprint like projects: the one I’m writing about now, the rollercoaster and and project called finding fun with videos. 

To start this project off we watched a video that explained to us that we were contractors who were making a prototype of a rollercoaster for a theme park called Scream-O-Rama. We were told that we had a budget of 1 million dollars and we were encouraged to use the supplies available: 2 toilet paper rolls, toothpicks, tape, scissors, and a marble. 

When I first heard the parameters I wasn’t too worried because 1 million dollars sounded like a lot of money. I was wrong. But, I’m getting ahead of myself so let’s go back a bit. Like most projects we had to ask some questions: what makes roller coasters fun? How long should the coaster be? How the heck do the carts stay on the tracks? Where is Scream-O-Rama…? Mysterious questions I know. 

After asking questions what comes next? Well you’ve probably been here long enough to know that it’s answers! We focus mostly on the question about how to carts stayed on the tracks, it’s kinetic and potential energy! 

Now we’ve learned lots and asked even more so, now it’s the best part… Planning and building! We had to take lots into account during this process, things like: budget, points, function, etc… Trust me doing all of that is hard but, we did it and remember when I said I was wrong about 1 million dollars feeling like a lot. Well, this is where I realized that we didn’t have enough money so, like all good PLP students we revised and this became our plan:

Pretty good right? Yeah I’ll tell you now it didn’t quite work like we expected but, I’ll let you guess why before I tell you. We assumed it would work fine from the sketch and using a PHET simulator but after construction we realized the loop didn’t work because we didn’t have enough height for the marble to make it through the loop we were really disappointed because we thought we would have to start from scratch but, one test turned our minds around. The marble jumped the track! All hope was restored. 

The loop tracks connected together originally for stability but, now we realized that the connection also allowed the marble to jump from one side to the other it was almost perfect. Almost. The problem was that we had to drop it from a certain height and area for it to jump so if we had a chance to redo it I would definitely change that. 

Here’s the coaster and a slow-mo of the marble jumping!



My partners:



Thanks for reading! -Sydney🙃

A little tid bit I want to include:

Ladies, Gentlemen, and Everyone In-between: our judges!

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