Now that we’ve completely finished our cereal box marble runs, it’s time we meet our 2nd challenge of the year. We are going to be building a life threatening, blood curdling roller coaster. We’ll, not quite exactly that, but our roller coaster has to be extremely frightening for the marble that is going to be riding it. Our roller coaster has to include: a loop, an uphill, and a downhill. We are also allowed to use as much masking tape as we need, but the challenge is to build a roller coaster that works, and uses as little tape as possible. The process is the same as last time, we have to design, build, redesign, build and so on. Here is a photo of my detailed design.
Here is the video that inspired my design
As you can see in my design, I started with an uphill so that the marble would gather the momentum and speed to prepare for the loop. It is friction that will keep the marble on the track, even upside down! I am going to be adding more and more detail to my plan as the sessions go by, I can’t wait until next lesson!
In this lesson, my group went into the maker space to find some materials to start creating the roller coaster. In the maker space, I found lots of tubes , cut up noodles, cardboard boxes, and lots more, in all different sizes. I had to think about, friction, to keep the marble on the track, centripetal force, to keep the marble going around the loop, momentum and speed, to help the marble make the loop without stopping. My group had to change our designs because we figured out that some of the things we added in the design wouldn’t work. First we had to decide where the loop would go and how much momentum the marble would need to get around the loop. Soon we made up our minds that we would make the loop upside down. The loop would have to be small, but not to small otherwise the tube would squeeze together and the marble would not be able to get through.
We taped a funnel to the start so that is would be easier to put the marble in. We also used a cardboard box for support, but soon found out that the tubes were really heavy and the box fell down.
Here is the video of our first attempt on our mid work rollercoaster.
It didn’t work because there wasn’t enough down hill at the start to gather enough momentum to make the loop.
I’m looking forward to keeping on building next session!
In todays lesson my group came up with a completely different concept for our design. We decided that we had built it too big and that we had made a marble roller and not a rollercoaster. The difference between them is that a marble roller only has downhills and no loop, a rollercoaster has several uphills and downhills and one speedy working loop. We took out the cardboard box, the funnel and the 3rd piece of tube. Instead of using almost the whole roll of tape for attaching two tubes together, we used a smaller tube and used two small pieces of tape to attach them. It was a very helpful idea because the marble kept getting stuck on the tape. We also are challenging ourselves by not using any more tape.
We still need to work on how the marble is going to get enough momentum to make the loop. I will continue investigating next lesson.
In todays lesson my group kept on compromising on how the loop was going to work, and how we were going to start our rollercoaster. We found out that the first design wasn’t enough and that we had to make a second one with lots more detail. If we had changed our rollercoaster, we had write or draw that as well. We were told to explain how and why we changed our rollercoaster, and what difference it made. Here is my second design.
Because there is a gap between where the two tubes are joined together, we believe that the gap is slowing the marble down, and that is why it is not making the loop. I’m looking forward to next session!
In todays lesson we ended up connecting another piece of tubing to the top of the gap because when it went around the loop it slowed the marble down. Here is what it looks like now.Here is a video of us tying it up.
We also re-constructed the loop again because it was to wide. We made it tighter and smaller so it would make it easier and quicker for the marble to go around. Here is a video of us re-making the loop.
also in this lesson, the most exiting thing happened! At the start, we had a good, long look at our designs, and decided that this lesson we would keep attempting to make the rollercoaster work, all lesson. The first attempt was close, but we could tell even at the start, that the marble didn’t have enough momentum to conquer the loop. On our second try, we angled the top of the starting tube up to the roof, so that it would hopefully gather more speed. Well, we were amazed at this because, the next time we tried, it worked! Here is the video of our finished and working rollercoaster.
Today we decided that holding the rollercoaster with our bare hands wasn’t good enough and so we had to think of a different way. After having been suggested a few ideas, we decided to attempt to pin our rollercoaster to the wall. We had to try and poke a hole with a pin in the top tube.
Once we had successfully pinned our rollercoaster to the wall, we realized that the loop was not supported and was wobbly and would lean to the side. That made us think of using Knex to help support it. Here is a video of us building the Knex.
We had to think about what kind of pattern we could use so that the Knex wouldn’t fall down or wobble. The pattern we made wasn’t completely stable, and it wasn’t easy to move about, (but we still could) but it almost did what we wanted.
While it did work, the Knex made our rollercoaster slide around and my group thought that it didn’t make a difference, and if so, it was a bad one. So, we decided to ditch the idea of pinning the rollercoaster to the wall, and just stick to our first idea, holding it with our own hands.
Now that our rollercoaster works 8/10 times, it is time to join with another group, and physically put our rollercoasters together and make them work without touching them. When my group heard that, we thought of maybe re-thinking the idea of pinning it to the wall. I am so exited to see what we can achieve next lesson!
In this lesson we joined to another group any started putting our double looped rollercoaster to action. This is what the other groups rollercoaster looks like.
Before trying to stick them together, we had to think of how we were going to join them up. Almost the whole group thought that we should attach our rollercoaster at the start, because our rollercoaster needs quite a bit of momentum to start off with. So that’s what we did. On our first try, the marble got stuck at the joining and that slowed the marble down so it didn’t have enough momentum to make the other groups loop. On the second attempt, the marble got stuck again, so, we thought that we should try and maybe cut the bottom of our rollercoaster so that it would fit and not get stuck, but on our third try, it ended up working without us cutting it, so, we held in completely still, and taped it. As soon as we let go of the rollercoaster, our rollercoaster fell down. A few minutes later, one of the teachers came up to us and said that we weren’t ready to join, and that we had to make our rollercoaster work, without holding it.
My group are going to build some Knex to help stand our rollercoaster up without pinning it to the wall.
In todays lesson my group built the Knex to support our rollercoaster. Unfortunately, I didn’t remember to video us building them, so I don’t have a video to show. We made a different pattern to last time, and we made it not as tall, so that it didn’t wobble as much. This is what it looks like now.
After we had completely changed our rollercoaster, that meant we has to make a completely different design, to explain why and how we changed our rollercoaster. Here is a sped-up video of me drawing and writing my new design.
After we had finished our new and improved designs, we had to show all three teachers our rollercoaster and designs, and get their permission to be able to join with another group that is completely finished, and has gotten permission to join as well. Because the group that we joined with last time had found another group to connect with, we had to go and find some other people to join with. We were one of the last groups to join, because we re-constructed our whole rollercoaster when we were told that we that we couldn’t hold it with our bare hands. Eventually, we found a group to join with. This is what their rollercoaster looks like.
When we first joined the two rollercoaster it worked straight away. Here is a photo of what it looks like now.
After we had tried the rollercoaster twice more, it ended up not working. That was okay anyway, because we found out that the end of the rollercoaster had to be nearer to the start. By that I mean that the rollercoaster has to have a minimum of 1 uphill, apart from the loop.
Next session goes for two hours so will have lots of time to continue on our rollercoaster and make sure that it has an uphill apart from the loop. Next lesson is also the last ever lesson on the rollercoaster program, so at the end of the session we are going to have about half an hour of showing time.
In this session we changed the other groups rollercoaster and added another tube to the end so that there would be an uphill in our rollercoaster. We also lifted their loop up on an ottoman, got rid of the knex and the end of their rollercoaster and take out the cardboard funnel also at the end of their rollercoaster so that we could add in the new tube at the end to make an uphill. When we tried the rollercoaster all together, someone ended up having to hold the loop on the other coaster so that it didn’t fall over and drag the whole rollercoaster with it. After that, we found out that our rollercoaster had a kink in it, and the marble got stuck. So every time, before we put the marble in, we had to squeeze the tube that the marble got stuck in.
We also did a video of what forces the rollercoaster has in it.
Now it was time for the showing. We set up two of our groups designs,
and a slow-mo video of our rollercoaster working from different angles.
Seeing everyone’s rollercoaster made me realize how different we all think, and how putting all of our ideas together can help us achieve some pretty amazing things. I think this program has made me think about how learning new things, taking what you know and putting it all together, makes a huge difference than throwing a bunch of tubing together and just waiting for other people to use their knowledge and do it all by their selves. Even if it doesn’t work the first few times, I’ve learnt that every try counts in the process of building our rollercoasters. I have really enjoyed this amazing experience and are looking forward to the next program.