Broadly speaking, the goal of physics is to understand how the universe behaves. It is fitting, then, that physics students should not be contained inside the walls of a classroom. Physics students at Grandview Preparatory School spend time building catapults, slingshots, and kites (and soon, gliders!). Their newest project: building a boat to compete in a Grandview Regatta.
Students’ vessels had to consist of at least 70% recycled materials. Some used boogie boards washed up on the beach, others: discarded plywood and PVC piping from construction sites. Still others used milk jugs and silt fencing. No matter the materials, all had to be at most 6 feet wide by 7 feet long.
Students applied Newton’s laws of motion, along with lessons in mechanics (including friction, and of course, buoyancy) to design and build the boats. For those of…
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