GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Seventeen-year-old Sam Bulthuis has a hobby that’s literally taken over his family’s living room. For the past year, he’s been working on constructing a working miniature roller coaster.
“The way my mom puts it, she would rather have me do this than play video games,” Bulthuis said.
According to his parents, Sam was actually terrified of roller coasters as a small child. Now, he’s obsessed with them and spent the last year creating his own roller coaster from scratch without the help of instructions, just a vision of what it should look like and how to make it happen.
The passion project started out with one $20 box of K’nex, a brand of construction toys. It quickly turned into a working model of a wooden roller coaster, complete with working turnstiles, a lift, banking turns and twists, all designed from the mind of a 17-year-old.
“I’ve always had a mind for engineering my grandpa was an engineer,” he said.
While the project was undoubtedly fun and games, it’s also a calculated career move.
“I definitely want to be an engineer when I grow up,” he said. “So I guess this is something that comes very naturally to me.”
If you would like to see his roller coaster in action, you can view the video he made here.