On Fri. March 31 members of the McIntosh STEM program and STEM teacher Seth Bishop set out on a field trip to Fun Spot Atlanta, located in Fayetteville, Georgia, to learn about the engineering and participate in the grand opening of the ArieForce One Coaster. A few McIntosh Student Media members were invited to join to cover the event.
Funspot Atlanta is located about twenty minutes from McIntosh by car and is technically located in Fayetteville rather than Atlanta. Bishop drove the bus and picked up students from Whitewater and Sandy Creek that were also attending the roller coaster opening.
“I am going to go into the field of environmental science and engineering, which deals with some principles of mechanical engineering related to the trip,” senior Emily White said.
Included in the ceremony were comments by Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin, Roller coaster designers, park owners, and singing of the national anthem. Immediately following the speeches guest were surprised by the fireworks surrounding ArieForce One and first responders were honored with the first ride.
STEM students enjoyed a conference with both a roller coaster engineer and an astronaut following their riding experience. They were given the chance to ask whatever they wanted to learn more about the ride or how the men gained their positions.
“My favorite question that I asked the engineer was what was his favorite roller coaster, and I explained that mine was a twisted colossus at Six Flags, Magic Mountain, in California. He explained that he loved the ‘top gun’ moment in the ride and I agreed,” senior Jayden Kypri said.
“I asked the engineers why they chose their careers and what their favorite physics principles were, and they both responded that they had loved planes since they were little, which inspired them to continue in their careers. They also said that their favorite physics principles had to do with flight as well,” White said.
ArieForce One ride time is about 100 seconds with a maximum speed of 64 miles per hour for the 3400-foot track length. The ride includes not only one but two zero-G rolls, and the first drop is 146 feet at an 83-degree angle.
“The second question I asked was to the astronaut [it] was if he had seen ‘Interstellar.’ Everyone laughed, and he did explain that he thought it was super cool, and it was kind of relatable to what he had been through,” Kypri said.
Other rides across the park include a smaller roller coaster, carnival rides, kid rides and many go-kart attractions. Not only do they have a good bit of other rides, but they also have an arcade and some food options in case a guest might want to grab a quick snack.
As of Spring Break, Fun Spot has been hiring workers 16 and older. Starting salary is based at 13.25 and the summer bonus can be between 50 cents to two dollars thus wage including the bonus can be 15.25. Some benefits include career development, two raises a year, discounted park passes and food, and a birthday paid time off.
“It was absolutely amazing to be one of the first people on the roller coaster. It was particularly great for me because I was so proud to see such a famous engineering marvel be installed in my hometown,” White said.
full view of AireForce One from the park. Photo by Savannah Hayes.