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The Great Paper Roller Coaster Challenge

posted May 22, 2014, 12:42 PM by School Publications

Mrs. Wakefield discovered “The Great Paper Roller Coaster Challenge” while on break and thought it a perfect fit for her physical science classes.  While making their roller coasters students had to meet specific requirements. The challenge for the roller coasters was to have at least six turns in your coaster, it needed to be at least 150 cm in length, and must include one swirl. Each piece of paper that the students used cost a certain dollar amount. The more you bought, the lower grade one received, because the cost is subtracted from the average time. So one of the challenges was to keep the cost and the time in check, so you could make an awesome roller coaster and get a good grade.

Mrs. Wakefield said she believed that the students really enjoyed the process of making the roller coasters. The “Jungle Joyride” made by William Burney, Lane Chandler, Alex Golden, and Harley Brandt won first place in the vote for the coolest coaster. “The Raging Raptor” made by Joshua Rolfingsmeier, Jacob Bloemker, Brandi Howard, and Brittany Sibert came in second place and “The Modern Avengers" made by Seth Powell, Dawson Rhodes, Klayton Kroll, and Josh Struble came in at third place.

Freshman Chloe Carson said "The paper roller coasters are really cool because you can use your own creativity to design a project that is totally different from anyone else's.  Plus, you get to learn about and test how momentum and other forces that are common in science work in real life." Freshman Alex Golden stated, "I really liked these roller coasters because it gave classmates some time to put our brains together and make a roller coaster out of paper and tape. I never knew it was that easy, but only if you could cooperate with your group.”  The paper roller coasters were presented at the May school board meeting Thursday night May 20th.  Students hope to see this activity again in the future.  

by Nancy McCurley

The Great Paper Roller Coaster Challenge