CNE 2017 construction week field trip

This year, three Ryerson Engineering students joined the CNE construction field trip (from left, Taha Simsek, Tyler Nagata, Meghan Keegan). Aside from posing with Squirtles (Pokémon game prizes likely to be the hot commodity this year), they had the opportunity to join me in shadowing some ride inspections and watching the assembly of Canada’s largest fair.

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Opening Day

Wearing an insulated jacket and still feeling chilly, I did a round of the midway before the opening this morning. No students today, though all are advised to check out the fair from now to Labour Day to watch how the guests interact with the rides — and with each other around the rides. Rides don’t exist for their own purposes. They exist to do something meaningful for the guest, on a sensory level or a social level, or both.

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Wednesday, pre-CNE

The show opens Friday morning. The threatening rain yesterday did not catch us, and today was windy but dry. There were still many rides on the midway that had not been completely put together and fenced in, giving us a good chance to look at the machinery from all angles. We also had a chance to watch inspections of some rides, including the Ring of Fire and the Crazy Mouse spinning coaster.

These were great opportunities for the group to think about how to mimic the mechanisms of the rides for scale model club projects, and challenge themselves to spot key features like brakes, proximity switches, drive wheels, cables, and chains on a variety of rides.

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Happy New Year

Every year, summer winds down and the CNE marks the imminent start of the new school year. Since 2002, the THRILL Lab has spent time during the CNE construction week observing and learning.  Some years, we have one or more studies on the go, other times, we are collecting ideas for future studies or designs. We meet new people and reconnect with people we know who have been so generous sharing their expertise. Increasingly, the CNE construction week has been an extracurricular “course” in amusement design and technology. This year, 11 students will participate in parts of the week. 

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Coming attractions: CNE 2014

The Lab and the Club are looking forward to putting on our hard hats, safety shoes and high-visibility vests and heading to the construction zone at Exhibition Place for the THRILL Lab’s annual experiential learning highlight behind the scenes at the Canadian National Exhibition. During the construction of the fair, students meet operators of the show, North American Midway Entertainment, the CNE, many widely respected consultants, and certified amusement device inspectors from the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA), a not-for-profit organization that regulates technology relevant to public safety, including amusement devices, throughout Ontario, and the Electrical Safety Authority, their electrical inspection and regulation counterparts.

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