Roller Coaster Engineering Challenge at Pittsfield Branch of AADL

Today I brought my daughter to the Ann Arbor District Library’s Roller Coaster Engineering Challenge. As a roller coaster enthusiast, I knew this event would be right up her alley.

After getting her setup with materials at a table and a partner to work with, I relocated to the tables outside of the event room. I knew that if I stayed, I would want to help and would guide her too much. By stepping back, I forced her to do it herself with her partner.

Ready to Start

Each table had a large roll of tape, several foam chutes, support rods, foam sheets, pipe cleaners, straws and various other building materials. There was also additional supplies that the kids could get to add to their roller coasters.

Making a Tape Tunnel

My daughter and her partner worked for almost an hour with my daughter continuing for another 20 minutes after her partner left. The partner took a small portion of the coaster and left my daughter with the bulk of their creation since she was still working on it. Of course, no coaster is complete without a name. My daughter named hers “Turns Fall”.

Finished Creation

My daughter had a blast at the event and we will be looking for more similar events, such as Marshmallow Engineering Challenge on Sunday at Malletts Creek Branch and Soda Straw Rockets next Thursday.


Last week we hosted a day of Friend Camp at our house for several of my daughter’s friends. At that event we did an egg drop challenge which the kids love. I am hosting another day of Friend Camp in August and we may just break out the Roller Coaster Engineering Challenge if I can find enough supplies.

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Ann Arbor with Kids is your go-to source for Ann Arbor Family Fun. It got its start in an activity list that I was compiling for the playgroup I ran at our church. When my daughter started preschool, the other moms were thrilled to hear about my list. I decided to take the list public in 2009.

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