Roller Coaster Camp Is Quite A Ride For Local Students

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You may wonder what egg crushing, tossed buttered bread, rolling tires and soft cannonballs fired from a launcher have to do with thrill rides like a roller coaster.

For one group of teenagers in Potsdam, it all comes down to math, science, a little kinetic energy and centrifugal force - all applied in the design of a roller coaster model.

"I learn how they made them and what kind of things they use to make them," said Enoch Bunnell, a student at St. Lawrence Central School.

At 13, Madison Mahady never realized the complexities of building a simulated roller coaster until she began working on designing a blueprint for a scaled model.

"They taught me so much already," she said.
 
Nearly 100 north country students are on the Clarkson University campus this week as part of a summer camp to help boost interest in the sciences.

"They're really getting a better understanding of how math and science can be used in the real world and it's exciting for them to see it," said Kathleen Fowler, a Clarkson University math professor.                                          
 
The hands-on activities are giving kids a chance to immerse themselves in problem-solving and teamwork - whether it's riding a virtual roller coaster or calculating G-forces through model rockets.

"They're learning a lot of math skills and applying them to real-life situations," said high school science teacher Darlene Bissonnette.
                                             
This marks the eighth year of the program, which also includes a trip to an amusement park to collect real-life roller coaster data.

Thursday, October 30, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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