The Roller Coaster Ride

Project Scenario


Leo is planning to build an amusement park where he needs to install a roller coaster. Leo does not know anything about the design and the science behind roller coaster. He is also confused about the measures he needs to take and rules to follow after the installation of the roller coaster.


Leo reaches to you to get help in designing a roller coaster prototype for him so that he can take it to civil engineer and roller coaster installers. He needs some features such as hills and a loop. Get your feet inside the shoes of a roller coaster designer and build a roller coaster prototype with hills and a loop for Leo.



Problem Statement



To develop a roller coaster prototype using hills and a loop as its key features.


Steps to project Success


Required Resources

Resources Download

Roller Coaster Journal-1.png

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Roller Coaster Journal-2.png

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Roller Coaster Journal-3.png

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Roller Coaster Journal-4.png

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Roller Coaster Journal-5.png

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Roller Coaster Journal-6.png

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Roller Coaster Journal.pdf

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Makershala Roller Coaster Template.pdf

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Project Instructions

Download Resources



Download Resources available under "Download Resources"



I Explore


How will this project help you?

  1. It will help you understand the needs of people who need their problems to be solved.
  2. It will help you apply principles of mechanical energy and gravity in designing a prototype for an amusement ride.
  3. It will help you draft safety and usage guidelines and policies for machines and operations.
  4. It will also help you develop hands-on skills in building product prototypes.




Which concepts will you explore and apply?

Forces and Friction

Centrifugal Force

Mechanical energy

You are advised to learn how all these concepts apply to roller coasters by clicking on each concept.




Which skills will you use?

Reasoning

Expression

Perspective

Problem Solving




Explore the Problem

Step 1:
Thoroughly read the project scenario and problem statement.

Step 2:
Leo has sent his requirements to you via mail. His requirement is written on the "I Explore" page of the Roller Coaster Journal. Carefully read Leo's requirements from a roller coaster model.



Step 3:
Try to understand his requirements and answer questions listed on the same page.


I Connect

The structure of the Roller coaster


Experiment 1: Sliding ball

Step 1: Collect the material

Arrange the following material before starting the experiment:

Step 2: Construct slide and pillars



Construct pillars using the Roller Coaster Pillars template. Watch the video for instructions.

Note: Template may vary from one shown in video, but process of folding and cutting is same.


Step 3: Set up the slide

Attach the top of the slide with the top of the pillars using paper tape.




Step 4: Record observations

Take readings of the distance moved by the ball for three different heights of slide ride.

  1. Release the ball from the top of the pillar and record how far it travels on the floor.
  2. Repeat the experiment with different heights of the pillars.
  3. Write your observations on the "I Connect" page of the Roller coaster journal.

Images show release of pall from two different heights.


Step 5: Record and Conclude

Conclude the experiment on the same page.


Experiment 2: Reach the hill

Step 1: Collect the material

Arrange the following material before starting the experiment:


Step 2: Construct a roller coaster with one hill

Use your skills of building pillars to make a big pillar and a small pillar as per the following diagram.


Now, build a curve track with hills, as shown in the above diagram (in blue) using the Roller Coaster Curved track template. Watch the video for instructions. 

Step 3: Set up the experiment

Arrange pillars and curved paths as shown in the figure. Use paper tapes for this purpose. 

Try to keep track as smooth as possible. Wrinkles and mesh in papers can lead to bad results.


Step 4: Perform the experiment

Drop the ball from the top of the big pillar and observe if it passes through the hill you have made over the smaller pillar.

If you fail, repeat the experiment by increasing the height of the big pillar.


Step 5: Record and Conclude your experiment

Write your observations and conclusions on the "I Connect page" of Roller coaster journal. 



Experiment 3: Revolve through loop

Step 1: Collect the material

Arrange the following material before starting the experiment:


Step 2: Construct a roller coaster with one loop

Build a pillar and curve tracks (not the loop) as shown in the figure. You need to connect your curved tracks with a loop. Therefore, you need to build a loop too.


Now, build a loop, as shown in the above diagram (in blue) using the Roller Coaster Loop template. Watch the video for instructions. 

Step 3: Set up the experiment

Connect curved track and loop using paper tapes. Watch the video to know how.

Then, connect one end of the curved track to the top of the pillar. 

Try to keep track as smooth as possible. Wrinkles and mesh in papers can lead to bad results.


Step 4: Perform the experiment

Drop the ball from the top of the pillar and observe if it passes through the loop.

If you fail, repeat the experiment by increasing the height of the pillar.


Step 5: Record and Conclude your experiment

Write your observations and conclusions on the "I Connect page" of the Roller coaster journal. 



I Create


You have come through a long way. And you did a great job.

Now, take a deep breath, and get back to the work. Leo is waiting for the solution.




You have learned how to build pillars, straight tracks, a hill, and a loop. 


You have also done a lot of experiments that helped you to identify the importance of the height of the initial hill or pillar.


Now, you need to use your knowledge to build a roller coaster model for Leo where he needs at least one hill and a loop in the roller coaster.

Sketch your Roller Coaster's model


Step 1:

Sketch the diagram of your roller coaster design on the "I Create - Ideation" page of the Roller coaster Journal.




Step 2:

Highlight and label key parts of a roller coaster and their measures.



Develop the roller coaster prototype

Step 1:

Now you are aware of how to use Roller coaster hill, straight track, curved track (hill), and loop template. You should plan to build the prototype.

You may also use foam pipe to make your roller coaster if you do not want to spend time cutting papers. Watch this video to know how to use foam pipe to build a roller coaster.


Step 2:

Empty space is provided on the "I Create - Prototype" page of the Roller coaster journal to do your sketching, calculations, and other modifications in design.

Step 3:

Build the roller coaster and test it for its working.


Take care to keep sliding surface smooth and wrinkle-free. 


Test the Roller Coaster Prototype

Step 1:

Perform the drop marble test as you have done in the case of loop and hill.


Step 2:

If failed, try to increase the height of the initial pillar. The modification may help you increase potential energy at the start so that the marble can gain enough kinetic energy to pass through the loop and hill.


Step 3:

If step 2 does not work for passing the marble through the hill, try to decrease the height of the hill. This would decrease the kinetic energy required by marble to climb the hill.




Remember: A perfect design does not develop in one try. You need to do multiple improvements to achieve the design. Therefore, do not hesitate to re-build the model and make modifications.


Step 4:

Write your observations and conclusion in "I Create - Test" page of Roller Coaster Journal.


Draft safety guidelines Roller Coaster usage

Remember that Leo has also requested you to help him with roller coaster usage guidelines.


Use the template on "I Create - Safety Guidelines" to draft safety guidelines for Roller Coaster usage.


I would suggest you watch this video to know about safety guidelines for roller coasters usage.


I Reflect



Attempt the Quiz by clicking on the button below. This is an important task to complete the project.


I Launch



You have done a hard work throughout the project. Share your work with us by uploading filled-in Starshade Journal.

How to upload Journal?


YOU MADE IT Share with us, What you made

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