The Engineeing Design Challenge
- The students will work collaboratively to design and build a roller coaster prototype.
- The students will create a roller coaster that will sucessfully travel from the beginning to the end of the roller coaster track.
- Foam pipe insulation cut in half lenghtwise
- Tape (masking or duct)
- Rulers/Meter sitcks
- LEGO MINDSTORMS kits with programming software
- Notebook Paper
The students are working together collaboratively to design and build a roller coaster prototype. A marble is used for the car and foam pipe insulation and tape are used for the track. The students have to create a roller coaster that will successfully travel from the beginning to the end of the roller coaster; therefore there is a lot of testing and revising that goes on with this project. Students are using their creativity and problem solving skills throughout this project.
Students were given the scenario that they had been hired by an amusement park to design and build a new roller coaster. The students work in teams to create a blue print of their design that portrays the relevant force and motion concepts that were previously taught. Students replicate their designs using foam pipe insulation, tape, and a marble. Students were able to add special effects using the LEGO MINDSTROMS robotics kits. Some groups used LEGO and sensors to create gates or tunnels. Finally, students calculated the speed of their roller coaster by determining the distance of their track and timing the marble.
The first file was used to hook the students and introduce them to the project. The second file is what was used during the project. The third file is a web quest that students participated in to learn about the science behind roller coasters, and features that make roller coasters possible or impossible.