Have you ever been on a roller coaster and wondered how it works? Have you ever thought about what goes into designing and constructing a roller coaster?
This week, local students and teachers are getting that opportunity, as Clarkson University hosts its 9th annual Roller Coaster Camp, sponsored by the the school’s IMPETUS (Integrated Math and Physics for Entry into Undergraduate STEM disciplines) Program, as an attempt to introduce students to the logistics of roller coaster technology. Pretty cool, right?
According to a press release from Clarkson, campers will spend the week gaining skills applicable to any 21st century profession, including problem solving, teamwork and computer literacy. Students will be organized into “companies” and tasked with designing an original model of a roller coaster–with hopes that it’s actually going to function.
On Thursday, campers also get to take a day-trip to Six Flags Great Escape in Lake George, where they will research and collect data on real-life, highly-functioning roller coaster, which will teach participants how to both collect and analyze data.
Also at Six Flags, students will get to meet and hear from real-life roller coaster engineer Frank Hardick, who designed many of the rides at the amusement park, including the reconstruction of the wooden roller coaster, The Comet. And of course they’ll get to ride a roller coaster as well.
The camp will finish with an award ceremony where students will have the opportunity to showcase their roller coaster designs.