Thursday, September 11

...of science.

I've noticed that the common name for educational props around here is usually the "____ of science." To demonstrate Newton's laws we have the "wooden leg of science" which kicks the "bowling ball of science." To show how a person can become a generator we have the "bicycle of science." A tub full of metal shavings to demonstrate magnets is the "tub of science." I'm sure you get the point; everything we have here at Astrocamp is a demonstration of one scientific principle or another. It's all "of science." That goes for our ropes course as well, though most kids would rather just climb and jump off things, a valid effort IS made to emphasize a lesson in every activity.
I spent a large chunk of my week as a tech on the ropes course last week; an entire day of my tech shift was spent at the Sky Coaster (of science). How does the Sky Coaster work? I'm glad you asked! First we shuffle the kids into the ropes course shed...

...where they put on parachute harnesses.

They are then escorted to a platform. Above their heads are two large cables that hang from two trees.

The tech pulls over the ladder (of science) and has the camper climb to the top where they are clipped into a quick release system and secured to the cables by their harness. The tech then pushes the ladder away and the camper is left dangling from the cables. The whole device is rigged so the camper is raised to the apex of the Sky Coaster by a pulley system, propelled by their classmates tugging on a rope. Once the camper is raised to the top of the device they pull a rip cord that sends them into a split second free fall, followed by swinging back and forth until the tech stops them and detaches them from the cables.

It feels weird to post photos of campers, so I'm not going to, but the diagram bellow is a pretty accurate illustration of the Sky Coaster in action.

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