Gravity Challenge : Southern Tour Results

Galileo 30 Jan 2009 - First Place winners in the best team category. 


Best Team

First Place

team            Galileo 30 Jan 2009

location       Magna / CENT / Rawmarsh CLC

school         Brinsworth Comprehensive


Second Place

team            Galileo 14 Jan 2009

location       De LaSalle School, St Helens CLC

school         Rainford High


Third Place

team           Galileo 25 Feb 2009

location      North Nottingham eLC

school        Bigwood 


Special Mention

team            Newton 23 Oct 2008

location       Leeds West CLC

school          tbc


Best Movie

1st Place :


team        Hawking  28 Jan 2009

location   Magna / CENT / Rawmarsh CLC

school     Maltby



2nd Place :


team       Galileo 15 Jan 2009

location  De LaSalle School / St Helens CLC

school    De LaSalle 



3rd Place :


team       Newton 16 Jan 2009

location  De LaSalle School / St Helens CLC

school    St Cuthberts 





Fastest Roller Coaster 


1st Place :  with a time of : 4.81 sec


team        Hubble 27 Jan 2009

location   Magna / CENT / Rawmarsh CLC

school     Thrybergh


2nd Place :  with a time of : 5.72 sec 

team        Hawking  28 Jan 2009

location   Magna / CENT / Rawmarsh CLC

school     Maltby


3rd Place :  with a time of : 5.88 sec 

team        Kepler 30 Jan 2009

location   Magna / CENT / Rawmarsh CLC

school     Brinsworth




The Gravity Challenge Southern Tour : Results


This intense day long science workshop started with the Gravity 3D show, then continued with a series of hands-on activities  and a digital media challenge. More information can be found here.


"Working as teams of 4 or 5 students (year 9 or 10), the challenge starts with some simple experiments that help in understanding gravity and motion.  Then, the teams try to build the fastest or most inventive roller coaster possible with the kit provided. The teams also film the activities, both as an integral part of two of the experiments and for the Movie challenge, where they are asked to create either an explanation of at least one of the experiments (max 2mins) or to create an advert (30sec-1min). 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." 


The teams are marked on teamwork, workbook, RC Kit, Fastest RC, Most Inventive RC and their movie.

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The Southern Tour Dates:


20 - 24 Oct 08 : Leeds West CLC

15 - 19 Dec 08 : University of Durham (Gravity 3D Show Only)

12 - 16 Jan 09 : De LaSalle School / St Helens CLC

26 -30 Jan 09 : Magna / CENT / Rawmarsh CLC

9 - 13 Feb 09 : TechniumCast, Bangor University, North Wales (Gravity 3D Show Only)

23 - 27 Feb 09 : North Nottingham eLC

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Gallery :

More images from the tour can be found here.



Evaluation : 

A pdf file of our evaluation report to the STFC for this project can be found here.





Funding received from the Science & Technology Facilities Council




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 our recent events, 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 - £9.


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


Everything can be purchased from Amazon.