Last week, we had our annual Theme Park 101 meeting to kick off the new school year. This is an important meeting for us as an organization because we are open to anyone interested in theme parks. We have people who join our organization that know a lot about the theme park industry and others who know they like roller coasters, but want to learn more about the industry. Having this meeting helps to give us a baseline of knowledge that we can continue to build on as we grow. It's also always a good opportunity for us older members to have a refresher about the things most salient to our success within the industry.
Our discussion starts off with a bit if history about amusement parks going all the way back to the original Russian Ice Slides in the 17th century. A fun fact for us Ohio State students is that there used to be a park located just down the street from our campus. It was called Olentangy Park and at one point, it was the world's largest amusement park. Though it closed during the Great Depression, it's carousel now operates at the Columbus Zoo. If you live in the area, you may have ridden it without even knowing its history!
Moving on from the history of theme parks, we moved on to the key players in the industry - the companies who make the magic happen. Our organization has a wide variety of majors including multiple different engineering disciplines as well as some other majors. Talking about the different companies that play a role in our organization is great for everyone of different majors to learn about the opportunities that would be of interest to them.
Next, we talked about the physics behind roller coasters and other amusement park rides. This includes gravitational forces as well as how each type of track is constructed and functions. Most importantly, we talked about safety as that is one of the most important topics to cover within the theme park industry. As part of our discussion we introduced ASTM and the standard they set to keep rides and attractions safe for guests. Later in the semester, several of our members are traveling to the ASTM convention and we're excited for them to bring back information to share with us.
This annual TPEG tradition is one that is not only educational, but also gets everyone excited to begin working on projects again. At this week's meeting, our project leaders will be sharing about their projects and our new members will be choosing a team to join!