Amusement Park Project
Updated: May 23
By Kristi Kraychy
There are many reasons why we love using our imaginations. For children, it helps spark creativity and innovation, peaks curiosity, supports literacy and according to several recent studies, builds empathy.
I often use this cross-curricular project to spark the imagination of my older students and it includes many math and literacy learning outcomes found in the Grades 2 through 9 Alberta Program of Studies. You can adapt the challenge level according to your child's abilities. We recommend that older students complete one step per day and younger students try to work on one step per week.
Opening Prompt (feel free to be creative and change the story to suit your child's interests):
Imagine that the owners of an amusement Park have given you the keys to their amusement park and enough funds to make all of the necessary upgrades! The only requirement is that you must re-name, re-design and re-brand the amusement park. It must be a completely different park before you re-open to the public.
Here is what you need to know:
Before they gave the Park to you, it had 32 rides, 20 food locations, 23 games, and was situated on 90 acres (3,920,400 square feet) of land. Calaway Park staff includes 40 full-time staff and 650 seasonal employees who work from beginning of May through end of August. The park sees 500,000 visitors every year.
To complete this project you will need the following materials:
-Regular Blank Paper (for brochure)
-Legal or Poster Paper (for map)
-Lined Paper (for list, notes and challenge questions)
-Pencil with Eraser
-Ruler and/or Measuring Tape
STEP 1: Create Your Brochure
Create an awesome brochure for marketing purposes and include:
New name of park & new logo.
Theme or description of park.
Images that would attract customers.
Fun Facts. Why would people want to go there? What makes it special, unique or fun?
Location of Park.
Cost of Admission. (*Advanced learners should leave this blank until they have answered the challenge questions at the end).
Be sure to have correct spelling and punctuation and make it visually appealing. The brochure can be created by hand or created electronically using a brochure template on the computer.
STEP 2: Make a List.
Make a list of everything you would like to see in your newly designed amusement park including (but not limited to):
A fence around the whole perimeter of the land (90 acres or 3,920,400 square feet).
Welcome area (10,000 square feet).
Rest rooms (2500 square feet each).
Food areas (10,000 square feet).
Roller Coaster (minimum 1 acre OR 43,560 sq ft. each).
Other Rides (0.5 acres each or 21,780 sq ft. each).
Gift Shop (5000 square feet).
STEP 2b: Sketch a Map. Use these requirements, general measurements and your new ideas to measure out a rough draft/sketch/map of your amusement park using a pencil and paper. Your re-designed park needs to fit into your 90 acres; however, your park does not have to take up your whole plot of land. You are NOT limited to just these facilities. You may add anything else you wish.
STEP 3: Make a Good Copy Tourist Map.
Your facilities must be represented by 2D shapes on your map.
Welcome area: square
Rest rooms: rectangle
Eating spaces: equilateral triangle
Roller coasters: rhombus (include each name)
Water park: parallelogram
Petting zoo: pentagon
Body of water (i.e. lakes, ponds): circle/oval
Train: line segments
Fence around perimeter (include measurements).
Other: your choice
Your tourists need to know what each shape represents on your map! Create an easy to read Map Key or Legend that labels each facility in your park. You are NOT limited to just these facilities. You may add anything else you wish. Be sure to label each item specifically on the map and/or on your Map Key/Legend. The legend should be in a box in the lower right hand corner of your map.
Make your map creative, colorful and inviting. You want your tourists to be excited about visiting your park!
STEP 4: CHALLENGE QUESTIONS (for Advanced Learners):
1. If fencing costs $4.95 per foot, how much would it cost to fence the perimeter of your land? Be sure to include 5% tax to your total.
2. If full-time employees are paid $5000 per month, how much will you need to pay in total full-time salaries from May 1 - August 31st? (See description at the beginning of this assignment for number of employees).
3. If seasonal employees are paid $15 per hour and work 5 days per week for 6 hour shifts each… how much will you need to pay in total salaries from May 1 - August 31st? (There is more than one correct answer to this question depending on how you divide up shifts for the 650 seasonal employees. Explain your thinking).
4. If the park costs $8 million dollars per year to operate plus total salaries (see question #2 & #3) how much do you need to charge for each ticket just to break even in your first year? (Assuming there will be 500,000 visitors who will pay full-price admission).
5. What should your ticket price be? Defend your answer.
6. Design your own math challenge related to this project. Ask a friend or family member to answer your question(s). (Make sure you have the answer(s) prepared).
7. Build a 3D model of your theme park. (You could use a computer program or clay, cardboard and/or LEGO).
8. In a paragraph, describe at least one way you could make a positive difference and be a Changemaker in your new role as amusement park owner.
9. Brainstorm: How can we use this project to inspire a real-life Changemaker project? Past ideas:
Design and distribute a ‘Soothing Sensory Backpack’ for children who struggle with sensory overload at amusement parks.
Create our own free mini carnival at school and invite children who could not normally afford amusement park tickets.
Gift the LEGO amusement park models we built to children who are in the hospital.
Do you have any ideas that might work from home during school closures?! We’d love to hear from you!