Gravity Challenge : North Ayrshire Results


The Roller Coaster Challenge      


This version of the Gravity Challenge started with four days of theGravity 3D show, and then continued with twelve days of science workshops. The first six were with S1 Ardrossan Academy students and then continued with the cluster primary schools Stanley, Winton, West Kilbride and finally Dykesmain.
"Working as teams of 4 or 5 students (P7 or S1), the challenge starts with some simple experiments that help in understanding gravity and motion.  The teams also film the experiments, both as an integral part of two of the experiments and to create an explanation of at least one of the experiments (max 2mins). 
Next, the teams try to build the fastest or most inventive roller coaster possible with the kit provided. They also film this to create a 30sec-1min advert to promote their Roller Coaster. During the day, the teams complete a workbook and are asked to predict what they think will happen, compare this to what actually happened and then interpret their results. They also have to return their roller coaster kits exactly as they were given, and finally they get to see the movies they have created. A really intense day of fun activities" 
To assist pupils, who may not have had any previous iMovie or Garageband experience, there are 5 min introductions to each, given at the start of the movie challenge.
The teams are marked on teamwork, workbook, RC Kit, Fastest RC, Most Inventive RC and their movies.
More information can be found here.
Funding for this series of events came from North Ayrshire Education Dept.
The Gravity Challenge was originally developed with funding from STFC.


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Overall Winners :

Primary & Secondary


Best Team : 


1st : Hawking 19th June - 83% (West Kilbride Primary School)


2nd : Galileo 28th May  - 82% (Ardrossan Academy)


3rd : Hawking 3rd June - 81% (Ardrossan Academy)



Other Categories : 


Fastest Roller Coaster : Galileo 11th June :  5.21 sec (Stanley Primary School)


Most Inventive Roller Coaster : Hubble 3rd June (Ardrossan Academy)


Best Movie : Einstein 18th June (West Kilbride Primary School)


Best Advert : Kepler 4th June (Ardrossan Academy)


Best Workbook : Hawking 29th May (Ardrossan Academy)


Best RC Kit : Einstein 23rd June (Dykesmain Primary School



Fastest Roller Coaster : 


Galileo 11th June :  5.21 sec (Stanley Primary School)

Galileo 11th June :  5.21 sec (Stanley Primary School)



Galileo 11th June :  5.21 sec (Stanley Primary School) 



Galileo 11th June  (Stanley Primary)



Most Inventive Roller Coaster : 

Hubble 3rd June (Ardrossan Academy)



Hubble 3rd June (Ardrossan Academy)


Hubble 3rd June (Ardrossan Academy)





Best Movie :


Einstein 18th June (West Kilbride Primary School) 

Includes images of students, so movie can't be shown on this public site.




Best Advert :

Kepler 4th June (Ardrossan Academy)



Kepler 4th June (Ardrossan Academy)



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Gallery : 

Other images can be found on the gallery here


Other Adverts :


Unfortunately many of the movies feature the students and can't be included on this public page. However, here are few that are student free ;-)



Hawking 12th June (Stanley Primary)



Galileo 15th June (Winton Primary)



Einstein 3rd June (Ardrossan Academy) 



Hubble 2nd June (Ardrossan Academy)



Roller Coaster Kits & Cameras 


We have been asked to provide information on both the roller coaster kits and the video cameras that we used for this event, both by teachers and pupils. 


Roller Coaster Kit :


Skyrail Roller Coaster 150pc 


SkyRail Roller Coaster (Quercetti) model 6430 with 150 pieces.


Can usually be purchased from Amazon for around £16 - £20.

We bought extra kits so we could add some additional pieces and so we would have spares. 


The track can be broken if treated roughly, however our kits have been used for 32 days of events and we have only needed to use the track from two spare kits for replacements. 


Video Camera




Kodak Zx1 High Definition Video Camera.


Great camera for schools, simple to use, robust and no film to worry about. When shooting video it can be used in VGA, HD and HD60 modes. If using iMovie 06 (iMovie HD) it is best to use the VGA mode to avoid long waits when importing. Can also take reasonable still photos.


Comes with everything apart from a SD card. However, make sure you buy a fast SD card like the SanDisk Ultra II or better, or you can have audio sync problems. 4GB is a good size and reasonably priced at around £6 - £8.


We also found that some of the schools MacBooks wouldn't mount the camera with the USB cable supplied, but worked fine with a USB card reader.


Everything can be purchased from Amazon.


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