Students were finally able to complete the design of the rollercoaster. Grade 5 collaborated to write and record the script to the movie and put the entire process together. We have included their script below.
First thing we did when we started the roller coaster project was to make sure all the students experienced a version of being on a roller coaster.
For those students who had not ridden a roller coaster, we watched a roller coaster online.
We discussed the Design Thinking process and the importance of learning not only how to design but how to solve problems and find ways to fix them.
Grades 1 through 5 worked together to build and design the rollercoaster.
The materials we ended up using at the beginning were: Popsicle sticks, foam tubing, regular and hot glue.
After problem solving we ended up also using thin cardboard, black foam, plastic pieces, magnets, paperclips, duct tape, spray paint and string.
Grades 1-5 all worked together to build the structure. We discussed the strongest shape is actually a cylinder, however since we were making this out of wood, the next strongest was a triangle.
All the grades came together to build the rollercoaster frame and track. All the grades worked together on solving problems with building the rollercoaster. Working on the curves on the corner and slopes.
While building we were able to experience hands on: potential energy, kinetic energy, friction, gravity, simple machines with pulley system, and the use of magnets.
Grade 4-5 moved to the final stages of the Design Thinking process by highlighting and fixing problems till they were finally able to successfully complete the rollercoaster.
Items that were learned throughout the design process :
- Potential Energy on the rollercoaster is greatest at highest point.
- Kinetic energy is strongest once the ball starts going down the largest hill.
- Friction is less on thin cardboard than on the foam. The ball has less resistance on the thin cardboard.
- Gravity is the pull on objects towards the ground. Gravity pulls the ball down the rollercoaster.
- Simple machines that are used on our rollercoaster are a pulley system and a ramp.
- The ball goes up a ramp as the potential energy increases
- The pulley system helps to pull the ball up with the use of magnets