Students take top spot in state physics contest

CFHS physics students earned top spots in the state physics competition at the McLeod Center on Tuesday, April 11.

Four teams competed in state physics after they advanced from regional competition on March 28, and senior Josh Timm and junior Jace Rea earned a scholarship for physics majors attending UNI with their entry in the toothpick bridge building competition at the state level.

“The goal of the challenge was to build a bridge that was both sturdy and lightweight because we are judged on the ratio of weight held to weight of the bridge. We spent a lot of time designing our bridge for Regionals, but we changed it a bit before State; we changed it so that it weighed less.”

Timm plans on majoring in engineering and attending Iowa State in the fall.

Timm and Rae weren’t the only two bringing home medals on Tuesday. Seniors Sam Schillinger and Connor Shultz won third place in the challenge problem.

Every year UNI has teams compete in a challenge the judges create. This year the challenge was simple: time an event without using electronics, and apply a physics concept. Shultz said the atmosphere was competitive and fun. “Me and Sam built a pendulum to use as a timer for the challenge. We used the number of oscillations to calculate the total time. We placed third overall. Me and Sam wish we did better, but it was still fun to see people competing in something so different like this. I didn’t think I could get so competitive when it came to physics, but it was definitely a fun time.”

Cedar Falls always does well at the state physics competition. Last year a team for Cedar Falls took home first for the same challenge problem.

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