Roller Coaster Project Judith Hogan

1. Define the problem

The project is a roller coaster, designed for a marble. The marble must be visible at all times, never become airborne, and land safely in the paper cup at the end of the track. The roller coaster must be no larger than three feet by three feet, and it needs to be portable and free standing. To get points, the marble can do a 90 degree turn (for one point), a 180 degree turn (for two points), a 270 degree turn (for three points), a loop (also for three points), or a corkscrew (for four points). A cool theme can earn you up to five points, and you get a five point gain or five point deduction depending on whether or not your marble lands in the cup. You can also get a bonus point if your roller coaster runs for the longest time, or if your first attempt is successful.

Most of the materials will be recycled or trash you can bring from home, but the marble and paper cup will be provided and a single team can spend up to $5 on materials. The money will not be provided. You can use parts made for marble tracks to get your track to last longer, but you will not get any points for them.

2. Generate Concepts

We ended up choosing the Hawaii-themed one. It has a volcano, with a track leading from the top into the water.

3. Develop a solution

Materials list:

Cardboard (Eli will bring some)

Orange and brown paint (Judith will bring it)

Tub (Eli will bring it)

Clear tube (Nedim will bring it)

Water (can get from school)

Toy sea animals (Judith and Eli will bring them)

Poster board (Nedim will bring it)

Foam core (Judith will bring it)

Paintbrush (Kristina will bring it)

A technical drawing of our roller coaster.

After we started building prototypes, we decided to rework the materials to make sure we had everything we needed.

Materials list:

Cardboard (Eli brought some)

Orange and brown paint (Judith brought it)

Tub (Eli will bring it)

Tube (Nedim will bring it)

Water (can get from school)

Toy sea animals (Judith and Eli will bring them)

Foam core (Judith brought it)

Paintbrush (Kristina brought it)

Duct tape (Kristina brought it)

Construction paper (can get from school)

4. Construct and test a prototype

An early, blocky model of the volcano
This is us testing the final product. Looks great!

5. Evaluate solution

In one of our early prototypes, all of the construction paper fell off. The next time around, we spray painted it.
Nedim's dad gave us a tube to use as the track for our roller coaster. But when we tested it, it was jerky and didn't work right! So we decided to buy a new one.

6. Present the solution

Our final product!

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