By Shelby McIntyre
Last week, the students in coach Brian Lawson’s on- level and pre- AP physics classes participated in an end of the year project.
The students had many different options they could choose from including an eggstravaganza project where students partake in three separate events with a device that has to protect an uncooked egg. Their homemade device has to be dropped from the top of the bleachers, thrown as far as possible, and students have to retrieve the egg from the inside of a circle drawn on the ground without breaking.
In the egg drop project, students were required to create a device that will keep an egg from breaking when dropped from the top of the Panther Stadium bleachers. This project also is an alternative for students who did not create the project or forgot to bring it to class. These students are required to place an egg in their shoe and drop it from the bleachers while hoping it does not break.
The matchstick bridge project requires students to build a bridge that can span an open distance and withstand the weight of a bucket full of water.
For the popsicle stick roller coasterrollercoaster, students need to make a roller coasterrollercoaster that has two loops, along with other specifications, that will keep a marble moving smoothly while rolling through the tracks.
If participating in the electric circuit game, students created a device where a probe or switch activated an electrical device.
For the catapult/trebuchet project, students needed to create a device that can launch a ball across 30 yards of the football field to either be caught by coach Lawson or make the ball hit him.
“The Physics Olympics was my inspiration,” Lawson said. “When I first started teaching; I took a group of eighth graders to a Physics Olympic competition at SFA (Stephen F. Austin), and I have been hooked ever since.”
During their class period, students went outside to the football field and the area by the field house to test their projects.
Out of all the projects to choose from, Lawson’s favorite is the popsicle stick roller coaster.
“It takes some deep thinking to make a marble roll smoothly through the loops and turns,” he said. “The roller coaster really tests a student’s ability to think”.
Despite the popsicle stick roller coaster being his favorite project, the eggstravaganza has proved to be the most popular among his students.
“I think students pick this option because it is fairly simple and (they can) make a decent grade if they use two different devices,” Lawson said.