Wow it works| Ramps and spirals

wow it works ramps and spirals

The wow it works program for ramps and spirals actually started of as a Gravity project for kids . We wanted to show kids a ball rolling down a ramp or inclined plane and we wanted kids to guess what might happen to the ball if we increased the angle of the plane . With the understanding of what the incline plane might do to the ball , we wanted kids to suggest ways and means to slow down a rolling ball . What are the possible solutions can kids come up with ?

Wow it works | We learn too !!

One of the interesting thing about the wow it works program is that , we also get a chance to learn as well . From a simple ramp or inclined plane , we can talk about stairs and steps that we see everywhere other than the incline plane . We also uncovered funnel and spirals . As an object travels around a funnel , not only does it travels slower at the outer than inner perimeter of the funnel , its travels in an elliptical manner , very much like planets traveling elliptically around a black hole . That’s was interesting !! For the spirals , quite common is our HDB parking complexes where cars tend to travel in a spiral up the complex . Then we have the steep mountains where roads are constructed around the mountain .

Wow it works | Linking it altogether

When we tried to put all that we wanted together , that’s when the idea of a roller coaster start trickling in since it has all of the above . There are many roller coaster that one can purchase from the on-line stores but that’s not what we wanted . We wanted to build and design one ourselves from scratch . Then we stumbled upon the paper roller coaster . For the paper roller coaster , you will need reasonably hard , high density paper , in order to hold a standard marble traveling in the roller coaster . And there are people selling paper roller coaster them for a fee with the paper and templates . However we wanted something simple and easily available around the house and yet able to achieve the same desired learning effects .

Wow it works | Changing the parameters

So we explore . If we use something lighter than marble , then perhaps we do not have to use the expensive hard and high density paper . We can find beads that are made of wood or plastic , and therefore much lighter than the standard marble . This solve the paper problem because we can use papers from unwanted magazines . They are normally harder and heavier than ordinary printer paper . The use of lighter beads also means that it is easier to construct and hold the structures required . In this project we make use of everyday common material such as breakfast milk containers , light wood , chopsticks , paperclips and tapes for the structures

Wow it works | The templates

Next , for the wow it works project , we need to work on the templates . If we are familiar with origami , then we can literally create these templates ourselves and that’s what we did . We have to create templates for the ramps , funnel , steps , loops and spirals . Next is to get kids to design their roller coaster in the wow it works !!

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