Report from Physics: From Slow Balloons to Hovercrafts

Allison Gregory

by Allison Gregory

In Physics, the students have been covering nearly a year’s worth of material in three weeks through the use of demonstrations, related videos, snacks, lectures, challenges, labs, and builds. We have currently covered topics ranging from mechanics and energy to electromagnetism. We will be learning about optics and nuclear in this last week of camp.

Students have had the opportunity to build their own helicopters and two types of motors during the first week, and they will be building speakers and a Pythagoras cup during upcoming study halls. They have competed against each other in two physics challenges: the slow balloon race and the egg drop. The team with the slowest balloon to hit the ceiling won the race, while those with unscathed eggs in their contraptions passed the drop challenge.

Over the course of camp, our class has partnered with various other classes and conferences to learn different topics. In the first week, we shared a center of mass lecture with the high school teachers who were on campus attending The Center for Gifted Studies’ Advanced Placement Summer Institute.. We also paired up with the Astronomy class to go to the planetarium and learn about the light spectrum in space. Today, we are joining the Math class in a demonstration about projectiles.

The class will take a field trip on Wednesday to the school where Mr. Lee teaches, Warren Central High School. The campers will have front row seats to his infamous Wave Show, featuring fire, lasers, and music — everyone will be astounded and amused by the educational performance. After the show is over, the students will get to see Mr. Lee’s homemade hovercraft and take turns riding it up and down the halls of the school.