Monday, March 18, 2013

Marble Roller Coasters pt. 2

     It has been rather interesting watching the kids begin to create their roller coasters.  Some just start gluing a long trough of craft sticks.  Fairly quickly they learn to watch how they join them because sometimes marbles get stuck. They also watch their glue usage because that slows down the track as well. I am allowing them to use low temp glue guns because they used them earlier in the year on pasta cars. We haven't had any problems with my students being irresponsible with them, but I stay nearby.

      The groups that use the long trough method tend to run into "real estate" issues - as in, their track won't fit on their poster board. I do allow them to have some parts hanging off, but I have to be able to pick them up and move them. 

     The other quick bit of problem solving they have to do is figure out how to support their track. Some opt for the "tube method" while others build support structures out of craft sticks. Notice in the above picture the spiral loop on the far right.  I'm debating how much to hold them to their original design because they are avoiding the big loop they put in their design plan, because they cut the tube on the diagonal and found the marble stays in.  Any suggestions?  I think it's creative, but in the real world a builder just can't change the plans to suit themselves.

     T. and his partner figured out how to break the craft sticks in half and then glue them together in a traditional loop.  By "break them in half" I mean use scissors to cut the sort of thick wood in half which then leads to broken scissors. All of my scissors in quarantine so they don't get destroyed, but I may have to bring in a little hand saw and cut for them.  I was pretty impressed they figured that out right away.  They are still a little worried about testing it and having it work.

     Overall I'm fairly impressed.
**Updated ---- Yay- the art teacher told me to score the craft sticks several times with an exacto knife and then have the kids snap them.  Works well, but I'M definitely doing the scoring.

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