Building a Better Rollercoaster

I still have a hard time differentiating between my Makerspace world and the Art world. There are simply way too many areas to overlap the two entities of my teaching career. I feel so very lucky to be in this position, in this school.

I work in a very small school which is part of a larger school district. This school district very well funded. I do not have a set curriculum, I get to develop the curriculum based on NAEA standards, my students, and what I understand about the latest pedagogy. This allows me to be incredibly creative with my job. One of the best parts of my job is creating projects, watching them unfold, and tweaking them for the next time.

This year we took our rollercoasters to another level. One of the main components of Makerspace is having many iterations. You don’t just complete one project, you learn from each building experience you do, and you keep on going. I had to ask my students to stop building. They wanted to keep working on this project. They loved it. We saved the project to display for the Art Show and kids wanted to build it all over again.

You can find many ideas on how to build a paper rollercoaster on YouTube, Teachers Pay Teachers, and other searches on Google. I simply want to show you the results after you take on one of these building projects. The stories captured in these rollercoaster/amusement park builds are so great.

The following Rollercoaster was built by a group called Rollergirls. Included in this photo is their original plan and the car they made to get the marble from their house to the amusement park. They worked on coding their Kibobot as an additional challenge when they were done with their build.

This one is much simpler but it gets the job done:

Most of the projects that were completed were something in between these two examples. The students got to reflect on their experience and I love what one group wrote:

“We tried to work as a team. We fought all the time. We finally finished the project but it never really got much better.” That is probably the best feedback I ever got from a second grade student about how the experience really was. It was very honest. They did fight all the time. Ironically, they chose to work together for their next project.

Author: Sonia Chapman

I am an art teacher, living in the Middle East, following my passion for art, teaching little children about the finer things in life, and loving every bit of it.

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