Photo: Finland Middle loops through learning

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 Messenger photo by Pat Donahue
 There were 78 teams, 1,100 feet of plastic tubing, and a whole lot of seventh-grade imagination behind this years Finland Middle School Roller Coaster Derby. Small teams of three to six science students combined efforts to design and build creative coasters for a small ball bearing to roll through the twists and turns of 14-feet of plastic tubing. Every coaster had a theme, and was built according to blueprints, on a budget, and included a report on what the kids learned during the project. Each of 16 classes selected a class winner that were judged by teachers from other schools to determine overall winners. The other 62 coasters also were given special awards in areas such as design and theme. Candy was a popular theme for the coasters, like the Crazzy Chocolate Candy Town (above), that included melted chocolate. It was the second place winner, built by Nancy, Marisol, Lucky and Fowzia.

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