Physics competes at UNI

By: Zuhayr Alam

Physics teacher Kenton Swartley has been a busy man for the past few months. In the midst of multiple robotics competitions, including the World Championship Competition coming up later this month, and team meetings every day, Swartley also took about 20 physics students to the McLeod Center on March 26.

The students were tasked with a choice between a variety of multiple challenges, which included building a catapult that must shoot a projectile at a target from exactly three, five, and eight meters away; constructing a car powered by the snap of a mousetrap that must travel exactly five meters; finding the weight of an unknown object by using an assortment of school supplies; and making an arm out of 15 straws and 10 pins that holds 50 grams as far away from the table as possible.

Junior Nathan Shull made a catapult and enjoyed the project.

“It was a lot of fun stuff that we had to do outside of class,” Shull said. “I got to enjoy a hands on project where I got to build my own catapult, and it was cool to see it be successful.”

Senior Blake Love was Shull’s partner on the catapult, and he enjoyed the physics bowl.

“At the physics competition we all had a good time,” Love said. “Other schools took it more seriously than we did. We just had fun.”

Junior Aaron Iehl worked on a challenge problem.

“Each competition was scored individually, but you could win as a group or team,” Iehl said. “It’s a lot like wrestling is scored.”

After this physics competition, some of the competitors qualify for a larger competition at the McLeod Center on April 16. In order to qualify for the state competition, students must finish in the top two of whatever project they decided to do.

Unfortunately, no one from Cedar Falls High School qualified for the state competition.

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