Ever hear of a roller coaster in a school? In Unionville, Connecticut they have!
Believe it or not, there is a school in America that contains a roller coaster in the cafeteria. Yes, you heard it right! Union School, a small K-4 school in the heart of charming Unionville, CT, has a huge roller coaster right in the middle of its cafeteria! See it right here!
The roller coaster was built in response to a need to control the lunch room crowd. It was found that kids were getting bored when they were finished eating, and instead of chatting quietly, they were becoming quite rowdy, making lots of noise and sometimes even running and jumping in the lunchroom. Teachers held a special meeting to discuss the situation, and after many brainstorming sessions about what to do, they came up with the novel idea of a roller coaster.
Mrs. Lynn Katz, principal, says, "We have a very creative staff at our school, and we are known for our innovative problem solving. When the teachers brought up the idea of a roller coaster in the cafeteria, I was thrilled! What better way to entertain the kids when they are done with their lunch and are just waiting around aimlessly for their next class. We feel that we are filling every minute of our students' days with meaningful activities!"
Mrs. Mendenhall, a fourth grade teacher, had her reservations. "Our school is small, and we have trouble fitting in all our desks, let alone a roller coaster. But when I heard that the roller coaster was higher than wide, I decided it was a good idea."
Mrs. Bourget, another fourth grade teacher, initially was not sure about the idea. "What if the kids throw up their lunches? Mr. P.J. would NOT be happy. But I suppose our first priority is our kids, so let's do it!"
Mr. Stern, a third fourth grade teacher at Union, stated simply, "Woo Hoo! I love roller coasters! Where's the start of the line?"
Union School has a long history with carnivals and carnival rides. Before the roller coaster was built, field trips to carnivals were used as a reward for students who did an especially good job of listening to their teachers. In 2005 alone, one wonderful, attentive fourth grade class was allowed to visit carnivals a total of 81 times!
Today, excellent Union School students need not venture any farther than their cafeteria to celebrate their achievements. The amazing Union School roller coaster is over 300 feet tall and has many interesting loops, curves, and drops. A huge hole had to be cut in the roof of Union School in order to fit the coaster in. When the roller coaster was installed, all the Union School students were allowed to stand outside and watch.
So when can the students ride the coaster?
Students are allowed to ride the coaster when they have finished their lunch. Teachers also provide roller coaster rides for good behavior. Each ride costs 25 cents. All profits earned from the roller coaster are donated to local charities. Kids enjoy an after lunch ride and at the same time are helping a worthy cause!
What other innovations are planned at Union School? Click here to find out!
Other Roller Coaster Web Sites:
Amusement Park Physics
Funderstanding Roller Coasters
**Very Important! Please Read!**
Would you trust these sites for research?
Written: September, 2009
Author: Mrs. Farrah, Union School Librarian