Future Engineers of West Hempstead

Future Engineers of West Hempstead Photo

As part of a lesson in the STELLAR (Success in Technology, Library, Literacy, Artistry and Research) curriculum, fourth-graders at George Washington Elementary School designed multidimensional roller coaster carts using the school’s 3-D printer.

Prior to designing their carts, the students studied kinetic and potential energy and participated in a videoconference with the North Central Ohio Educational Service Center about the physics behind roller coasters. The lesson was guided by NCOESC Distance Learning Coordinator Andy Campbell, who demonstrated how energy can be transferred from one object to another.

Following the lesson, the students worked in groups to assemble roller coasters using household materials provided by STELLAR teacher Dara Perlow. Applying their physics knowledge, the groups constructed roller coaster towers using toilet paper rolls, Popsicle sticks, plastic cups and tape.

Collaborating on school-issued Chromebooks, the groups then designed carts for their amusement park ride using Tinkercad software, a 3-D design and modeling tool used to create multidimensional objects with geometric shapes. They adjusted the shapes’ dimensions and rotated the wheels to create carts that would hold passengers.