For over 20 years, Canada’s Wonderland has run a Wondercoaster Building Contest to celebrate one of its Physics, Science and Math Days. The competition invites K-12 students in the Greater Toronto Area to build model roller coasters and compete against each other to win best roller coaster in three categories. Much like our local engineering competitions that qualify us for the Ontario Engineering Competition (OEC), students compete against their classmates to represent their school at Wonderland’s Contest in one or more of three categories: Technical Merit, in which the number of loops, the dimensions and the efficiency of their coaster roller determines the score of the roller coaster and determines their ranking; Creativity and Artistic Value, in which the roller coaster that makes the best use of available materials and is most visually pleasing wins; Most Exciting To Ride, in which the Park’s Ride Engineer selects the roller coaster which they deem the most thrilling for patrons of Wonderland to ride, should it be built at the park.
It was a cold and rainy morning in Vaughan on Friday May 4th, 2018, but the enthusiasm of the park’s Group Sales Team, Chuck and Terry, who had seen the competition run for most of its lifetime, kept the volunteers on their toes and eager to get involved. 12 students from across the province volunteered their Friday to help set up the roller coasters, judge in each of the three categories, and support our young engineers-to-be as they tinkered and toiled away at their roller coasters prior to judging. Volunteers were also invited to distribute prizes to students and set up the stage for final distribution and recognition.
Needless to say, it was a wonderful day to connect with other engineering students, support students as they engaged in the creativity and tinkering that STEM fields stimulate, and to help support younger students’ interest in our field of choice. To see pictures from the day and hear what volunteers have to say, check out: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmbBtsf1
ESSCO Volunteers wore t-shirts designed by McMaster University’s Jocelyn Lee, and were rewarded with a free pass to the park. ESSCO is thrilled to work with Canada’s Wonderland at its annual Math & Physics Day.
By Tiffany Joseph
ESSCO VP Services 2017-2018