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Curriculum: National Science Week - Rollercoasters

Rollercoaster Mayhem for National Science and Engineering Week
By Jessica Georgelin, Jess Oddy, Nell Dart and Mairead Dolan - Year 7
 
Year 7 at Richard Lander School were celebrating National Science and Engineering Week with a specially designed ‘drop-down’ day. Science Week this year focused on forces, therefore RLS decided to give year seven the opportunity to build their own rollercoasters.
 
To start the day the students learnt how the gradient of the slope affected the speed of rollercoasters, using wooden ramps and toy cars to test their understanding of different forces, the only tools being a ruler, calculators and stop watches.  Results were recorded in a table.  Then the lucky first years used computers to build their own virtual rollercoaster tracks. With this knowledge in mind the year 7s were raring to go!
 
During the latter part of the morning the students were busy enjoying building their own rollercoasters out of foam tubing and various odds and ends. All the rollercoasters had to have one loop, had to stop at the end and the highest point had to be over sixty centimetres. The student teams had a budget of eight pounds to buy different materials and in their separate classes they voted on a winner. 
 
There were many different roller coasters; from ones that spelt words like ‘love’ to coasters that wrapped around class room sinks; they were all individual, each with their own character, one of the problems students had to tackle was slowing the marble as it got to the end of the track.
The day was a huge success for the students improved their understanding of forces and the effect they have on rollercoasters whilst enjoying themselves. This is what Delphi Harries had to say about the day: “It was really fun and a good experience.” Also one of the participating teachers , Mr Roodhouse had something to say on the matter,“ It was a really fun day for the students and staff, it was interesting to learn in a more relaxing way”. A video was made of the day by the Year8/9 BBC School Report team which will be on the school website soon.
We thank Mrs Bond for organising the whole event!
 

Richard Lander School