How Amusing Week

Camp | Grades 3-8

Ah, the thrill of an amusement park…zipping around on racecars, zooming through the loops of a rollercoaster, trying your luck at a floating boat game, and enjoying a cold, refreshing ice cream treat at the end of a hot, sticky day. Can’t get better than that! During this camp, students will divide into competitive theme park teams. They will challenge other teams in specific engineering-related contests with the goal of creating the most fantastic and thrilling theme park experience. At the end of the week, only one team will emerge as the winner and will be granted the prestigious honor of creating the world’s next great amusement park for children ages 0-99 to enjoy for summers to come!

During How Amusing Week, students will explore the fields of marine engineering, mechanical engineering, and chemical engineering as they design and create the ultimate theme park including: a game, rides, and a scrumptious sweet treat.

Boat Basics

In this activity, students will understand the concept of buoyancy and how it plays a significant role in the design of a ship or vessel and explore ways in which a ship can be designed in order to have the maximum buoyant effect while still keeping the design practical and buildable. They will also realize the importance of minimizing the amount of material used in the design process, as to mimic the challenges engineers face in the real world with limited budgets and resources.

Extension: Boat Basics Math Extension

In this lesson extension, students will answer mathematical questions pertaining to their results from Boat Basics.

Coasters 101

Students will learn some basic properties of physics such as velocity, acceleration, and gravity and how they relate to rollercoasters, and explore how inertia, friction, and energy can be both positive and negative aspects of the design process. They should understand the importance of building scale models of objects before presenting them to the class for opinions, and understand why kinetic and potential energy are the two most important factors that determine the physical success and thrill of a rollercoaster.

Racecars: Dragsters And Balloon-Powered Cars

Students will design and build a car without a conventional motor, and understand some of the difficulties of building a dragster.


Students will explore proper weight distribution on a small watercraft, build a simple electrical circuit to accomplish a specific task, understand one example of the real-world effects of aerodynamics, and understand the difference between a fan boat and a typical powerboat.

Ice Cream Factory

Students will understand that ice has to absorb energy to melt, demonstrate that particles added to water will lower the freezing point, and conclude that salt is the most suitable material to lower the freezing point.

Extension: Ice Cream Factory Math Extension

In this lesson extension, students will use their chart from Ice Cream Factory to plot the amount of salt, milk, and cream used on the bar graph for each trial run.