Funnel Cake, Physics, and Fun

Field Trip Shows that Studies Can Have Real World Value

Caroline Lee

Staff Writer

AHS’s physics classes took their studies outside of the classroom on Friday, May 16, 2014, and instead attended the Math, Science, and Physics Day at California’s Great America in Santa Clara.

Rather than take a bus or carpool, over two hundred students, made up of Mr. Benn’s and Mr. Licht’s CP, Honors, and AP classes, took an alternative mode of transportation to the park.  For many, it was an new and positive experience.

During the last moments of the Cardboard Boat Race, seniors Sophia Li, Monica Hung, and Emma Luu make their cardboard boat waterproof with bubble wrap and duct tape.  The event was held at the wave pool in Boomerang Bay and each team was given cardboard, tape, and bubble wrap.  “I think using only bubble wrap to cover the boat would have been better than covering half of the boat with tape and the other half with bubble wrap,” Luu said.  “That would have saved us more time to make stronger support beams so the boat could have a flatter bottom.”  PC: Caroline Lee
During the last moments of the Cardboard Boat Race, seniors Sophia Li, Monica Hung, and Emma Luu make their cardboard boat waterproof with bubble wrap and duct tape. The event was held at the wave pool in Boomerang Bay and each team was given cardboard, tape, and bubble wrap. “I think using only bubble wrap to cover the boat would have been better than covering half of the boat with tape and the other half with bubble wrap,” Luu said. “That would have saved us more time to make stronger support beams so the boat could have a flatter bottom.” PC: Caroline Lee

“We went to Great America by the ACE train, which was really cool because it was smooth and fast,” junior Diane Zhou said.

After walking past the new Levi Stadium and into the theme park, CP and Honors students were given worksheets to be completed throughout the day.

“While I was not expecting the assignments to be so detailed, it was surprisingly doable,” senior Gladys Kuo said. “It was interesting to see how all of the concepts we learned in the classroom actually held true in real life.”

Despite the work, students had the opportunity to go on the rides and many said that it was an enjoyable day.

“At Great America, the weather was a little on the hot side but not too bad, and the lines for the rides weren’t terribly long, so it was a pretty decent day,” Zhou said.

Along with the work given by the teachers, Great America provided contests, presentations, and booths, such as the Cardboard Boat Race, which seniors Emma Luu, Sophia Li, and Monica Hung participated in.

“The boat competition was fantastic,” Luu said.  “I was expecting to have less than an hour to finish the boat and get it across the wave pool, but luckily we were given a whole hour to finish the boat.  The best part about the competition was that I had fun with my team as we made our boat.”

Physics Day2
Emma Luu (12) in the boat race. The race took place in the Wave Pool at California’s Great America. While Luu and her team did not win the race, they still had plenty of fun trying.

Students from other schools, including Irvington High School, also participated, but the team from AHS was prepared.

“My team met two times to do practice runs,” Luu said.  “When we met, we tested different designs at our friend’s, Teja Cherukuri’s, pool and also practiced making a leak-proof boat in the least amount of time.”

Though AHS may not have won the race, Luu proclaimed that duct tape and bubble wrap are some of the best creations in the world and other students found applications of physics in everyday life.

“Physics works,” Zhou said.  “But most of the rides aren’t just left to naturally go; they’re controlled in a lot of places. Also, friction seems to play a greater role in real life than it does in our homework.”

 

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