Students in my Introduction to Engineering Design class range from 9th grade to 12th grade. Most are taking the class as an elective toward their A-G requirements. Our student demographic consisted mostly of Asian and Hispanic origins from a low socioeconomic class. Despite the obstacles and challenges that stand in their ways, these students are hard-working, and eager to learn. They persevere through difficult problems and projects. They love to build and be innovative. They are the next generation of engineers, entrepreneurs and good citizens to our society.
Roller Coaster Design Challenge!!
Students design and construct a model roller coaster to deliver a thrill and safely transport a car of passengers.
In this project, my students will follow the engineering design process to collaborate on the design and performance of a paper roller coasters. They will create team norms, map out their working schedules using a Gantt chart, and collaborate on different design ideas using a decision matrix. Students are encouraged to bring in their prior knowledge from a science class to discuss energy concepts.
Students must use mainly paper products and clear tape in order to design a roller coaster with five design elements such as a wide turn, a narrow turn, a vertical loop, and/or a vertical double loop. Students cannot hold any part of the track during the testing period. The entirety of the coaster must stand on a provided foam board. The marble must be placed on the track and may not be pushed or dropped. The marble must complete the track and come to a complete stop at the end of the track to be awarded points.
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