The Clarkson University IMPETUS Roller Coaster Competition recently capped off a successful year of engineering design and creativity. This was a tough and highly competitive contest. Thirteen coasters were created by teams from ten different North Country school districts. Colton- Pierrepont Central’s entry “Pasta”rana”, created by bothers Nate and Logan Burns, took first place. Second place was secured by Winter Wonderland, created by Carthage Central School.
Another entry from Carthage Central, Battle of Hoth, ranked third. All the models demonstrated technical expertise, theme development, and creativity.
An added feature of this year’s competition was the People’s Choice Award. Fourth-grade students in the Clarkson Help Yourself! Program at Brasher Falls Central served as the judges. Jungle Escape, created by Madison Knapp from Ogdensburg Free Academy, was the winner.
The annual event tasks middle school and high school students with designing and building a model roller coaster from common materials. A marble is used as the “car.” Points are awarded for the longest ride, technical difficulty, and artistic merit. Each team selects a unique theme that inspires its name and embellishments.
The event is funded through a New York State STEP (Science and Technology Entry Program) grant. Clarkson’s grant supports college and career readiness for students in grades seven through twelve through a school year challenge program and a summer camp.