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#1 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

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Posted November 13, 2014 - 08:08 PM

My 12 year old daughter came home from school yesterday, and asked me to help her on a school project. She is currently learning about Newton's 3 Laws of Motion, and has been assigned a project that will reflect these some how. My daughter decided to make a roller coaster. The project can't be any bigger than 450 square inches, so I'm making the base to the maximum of 15" x 30", which gives us the 450 square inches exactly.


I have a bunch of pine scrap pieces left over from remodeling the kitchen, so tomorrow night I will start ripping the pieces down to scale. I already laid out a platform made from cabinet grade plywood, and started to design the track layout. I can't make the coaster too big, due to the small platform size, but I also can't make the scale of it too small, as you won't be able to see the details. I'm going to try and do a 1"=10'-0" scale and see how it goes.


She will be judged on the following categories:


Overall Appearance = 30 points

Neatness & Originality = 30 points

Presentation = 20 points

Time Investment Evident = 20 points

Essay of how each Law of Motion is shown in her project = 100 points



She will be working with a partner on this, who will also be graded in the same categories. Should be quite the challenge working with two inexperienced girls, so wish me luck. My only concern is making sure that I let them help throughout the process. Oh, and the project is due on December 1st! No pressure right?  

Edited by johndeereelfman, November 13, 2014 - 08:55 PM.

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Posted November 13, 2014 - 08:18 PM

You better get crackin. Sounds like fun though and I wish you the best. Hopefully the girls really enjoy the experience and don't drive you too bonkers.

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Posted November 13, 2014 - 08:19 PM

I remembered two of the three. For those who have a couple of years out of HS Physics, a refresher.

Newton's First Law of Motion:

I. Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.
This we recognize as essentially Galileo's concept of inertia, and this is often termed simply the "Law of Inertia".

Newton's Second Law of Motion:

II. Acceleration is produced when a force acts on a mass. The greater the mass (of the object being accelerated) the greater the amount of force needed (to accelerate the object).

Everyone unconsiously knows the Second Law. Everyone knows that heavier objects require more force to move the same distance as lighter objects.

Newton's Third Law of Motion:

III. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
This law is exemplified by what happens if we step off a boat onto the bank of a lake: as we move in the direction of the shore, the boat tends to move in the opposite direction (leaving us facedown in the water, if we aren't careful!).

Troy, I will be interested to see the project come together
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Posted November 13, 2014 - 08:23 PM

If for some reason, the roller coaster starts to cramp you time wise, with a little planning, the tracks could be a course for a ball bearing.
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#5 IamSherwood OFFLINE  


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Posted November 13, 2014 - 08:25 PM

This will be interesting. Please keep us up to speed on your progress.

I hope you get good marks. :smilewink:

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#6 johndeereelfman OFFLINE  

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Posted November 13, 2014 - 08:26 PM

I'll post pictures as I get things started and underway. Getting all of the wood pieces cut and ripped to scale size will be the biggest feat. Should be interesting, and in a way, I'm really looking forward to working with the girls and seeing what we come up with.

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#7 Little Irish Men OFFLINE  

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Posted November 13, 2014 - 08:38 PM

First  , thank you , and like we all say  WE WENT PIC so go get bizzy and  make us proud . . .  i hope the girsl get and " A "

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#8 petrj6 OFFLINE  

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Posted November 13, 2014 - 09:22 PM

    I have such a hard time with things like this !!!!   I forget that it is their project ! and wind up taking over.  remember it is their's and not yours, hope you have a great time and teach the girls lots of good stuff.


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#9 cootertom OFFLINE  

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Posted November 13, 2014 - 09:47 PM

Sounds like a fun project. Post pictures as it goes.

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#10 propane1 ONLINE  

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Posted November 13, 2014 - 10:02 PM

Who's project ?? Sounds like it's become your project. Ha ha. Hope you and girls have fun. Noel.
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#11 Bill 76 ONLINE  

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Posted November 14, 2014 - 12:33 AM

December 1st is a little pressure.But your wife will be under a lot of pressure about 9 the night before when your daughter says she needs 3 dozen cupcakes for the class.

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#12 Bill56 OFFLINE  



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Posted November 14, 2014 - 06:35 AM

Sounds like a fun project. Good luck to you and the girls!
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#13 KennyP ONLINE  



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Posted November 14, 2014 - 06:38 AM

Sounds like some good quality time with the young ladies! Hope they don't want a life sized model later on!

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#14 tater195 ONLINE  


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Posted November 14, 2014 - 08:30 AM

There was a pc program (15 years ago) where you could design, build,  test and "ride" roller coasters. You might see if something like that is still around in shareware to tweak your design

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Posted November 14, 2014 - 08:45 AM

Sounds like a cool project.

my wife has to be careful of the same thing when she helps our kids with their 4H  "special projects" . I gotta remind her all the time,....

It's THIER project"  :D



Tell the girls one thing to remember....it's not the fall that kills ya, it's the sudden stop at the bottom :firejumper:

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