New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

Safe Slide

Team: 33

School: Down to Earth School

Area of Science: Engineering


Interim: We are concerned about children in our area getting burned by slides at local parks and in yards at home. Children all over the U.S have been burned by playground equipment from the ages of 6 months to 6 years. Most of the burns occur due to young children not having the reaction of pulling away from heated materials quick enough. Density is defined as weight per unit volume, though more properly called “specific weight”. Less dense materials heat faster because the amount of atoms is less and they take less time for all to heat. Light from the sun excites electrons in the atoms which create the materials themselves. This is knows as “radiationless transitions”. The atoms of the material vibrate and that vibrational energy is roughly equal to the electronic energy (photons) absorbed from the sun. We hope to find a safer alternative material for slides by learning how the density of material holds heat and changes temperature. We hope to use this information to design a safer slide.

The model programming we are using is NetLogo. We will be modeling a slide being heated by rays from the sun. We plan to have the sun move across the sky, and agent-based heat rays that will travel to heat the slide. The slide will be made of color changeable patches. When the patches are hit by the rays they will change color. The starting patch color will depend on the density of the material in use and the temperature surrounding the area. The slide will begin flashing the warm colors when the temperature gets to skin burning degrees .

We have the main part of our research completed to start our model. We have started on all our other projects involved in the challenge. We have begun our model with the sun and heat rays. We are working on getting the sun path laid out so the sun will follow it. We are also working on getting the heat rays attached to the sun and heading set for the slide. We would like for the model to show the suns angle and how it affects the temperature of the material.

The results we expect to get include finding out what material heats up the most based on the density. We hope to find a solution on what materials would be safest..We will be using the information to create a “Safe Slide”.

Kristen Hampton. Wistv.com. 621, 12 WBTV. http://www.wistv.com / story/1884371/hot-playground-equipment-can-burn-childrens-skin.html

Local8now.com http://www.local8now.com/news/headlines/95458129.html

Lidia Chen. 11-3-12. Http://www.cruchingplants.net/playground-equipment-may-cause-burn-injuries-to-children.

2005 - 2011. Maryland Materials. 11-3-12. http://www.mdmaterials.com/slides_commercial_straight&wave.html.


Team Members:

  Addison Clemens
  Scarlet Shearin
  Connor Guillot
  william jordan

Sponsoring Teacher: Maia Chaney

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