The class have been creating their own persuasive television adverts in Literacy this week. They watched examples of adverts then used a storyboard to plan the shots, sound effects and music for their own television advert.
After a brief introduction to GarageBand, the children then investigated the different 'loop' tracks and experimented with different ways of layering the sounds to match their storyboard plan. Some children even used their musical talents to record their own playing!
We had a brilliant time at the 'Rollercoaster Workshop' using K'Nex and other equipment. After a quick introduction and revision of balanced forces, we made predictions as to whether the car would successfully (and safely) make it over the loop-the-loop. Fynn said, "I think it will make it over because the track is higher than the loop so it will have more energy". None of our first attempts actually worked! A really good explanation was given by Tom who said that there wasn't enough kinetic energy. Jess, our leader also highlighted the need for a fair test and Cory explained that we couldn't give the car a push because that would give it extra energy.
Jess gave us all an extra piece of track and asked us to find out the starting point that would make the car just complete the loop. Mia thought that "with the added track, you will need to start the car half-way up because our car only made it half-way round the loop." Isabelle noticed that when the car reached the top of the loop-the-loop, it slowed down and almost stopped because gravity was trying to win.
After carrying out our new task, we noticed that every group had slightly different starting positions because every group's rollercoaster had slight differences between them.
We know that on the 'perfect rollercoaster', the carriage makes it safely over without picking up a dangerous amount of speed. Katherine noticed that simply dropping the car from the highest point might make a successful loop-the-loop, but the ride would be too fast. We also investigated the different track starts you could have: a sheer drop, a twist, a bend and twist, an inversion etc. Lots of us dropped our cars from a lower height whilst trying to add in extra twists and turns. This didn't work as well because going round bends takes up energy.
During our investigation into air resistance, Abigail explained that a carriage with a larger and wider front panel would move slower because the surface area is greater. We then attached a piece of card onto our cars and investigated whether it would still make it over the loop at the current height. Almost everybody found that they needed to drop the car from a greater height to make it complete the loop.
After a discussion on friction, Jess then handed out a variety of rollercoaster wheels. Some had been used and some were new. She set us the task of trying to work out which wheels were which. Jack F likened his wheel to a rubber: "On a rubber, little pieces wear away when it has been used and on this wheel, there are no little bits dropping off." Keir looked very carefully at his wheel and noticed that the tiny little lines were all intact which means it is new. Katherine, Sophie, Holly and Grace all had a wheel which had been worn away. They knew this because there was a groove in the middle of the wheel which had been caused by friction. Mia explained that friction is needed at the end of the ride to slow us down to a safe stop. This is achieved by friction brakes.
After our rollercoaster workshop, we went to the 4D cinema to watch Yogi Bear and then after lunch, we spent some time in the fantastic 'Brian's Penny Slot Arcade'. Brian was the park's previous owner and had spent many painstaking hours creating fantastic old-style penny slots which we really enjoyed playing on. A quick tour of the zoo and reptile house finished our day off nicely.
Did You Know?
We get that 'tummy lurching' feeling when a rollercoaster suddenly drops because our insides stay at that height when a rollercoaster is forcing you down. This only lasts for a split second and is nothing to worry about!