Science Wiz at The Briarwood School
The month of March might be known for the “madness” of basketball competitions, but for the seniors at Briarwood, the only competitions that matter are in their science classes. Throughout the month, seniors build, test and compete in the Forensic Science Bottle Rocket project and the Physics Bridge challenge. Senior Hope Schultz broke down the Bottle Rocket process. “The project grade is based on how long the rocket stays in the air. I liked the fact that we have to be creative. We used a 2-liter bottle, PVC piping, and an air compressor that makes the bottle fly up. The challenge, though, was trying to find how to put the pipes together.”
The winner from the Forensic Science classes was Colten Gonzalez. His rocket lasted 7.8 seconds in the air. “What made his rocket win was the construction of his parachute; it made his rocket stay in the air longer,” commented Mrs. Smith.
In the Physics lab, Coach Causey had groups of students set out on the Bridge project. Their purpose? To build with over a bridge made only of Popsicle sticks and Elmer glue that could withstand a substantial amount of weight. The winning team, seniors Abbie Seay and Christina Lauritsen, built a bridge that withstood 395 lbs. before it cracked under the weight.
“What I think made our bridge a winner was the fact that we had layered joints using only 250 Popsicle sticks,” stated Christina. “The difficult part was balancing out the weight on both ends of the bridge so it was equal. We got to choose how many sticks we could use, but the downside was that, for every stick not used, a point would be taken off our final grade.” Finally after building the bridge, the teams created a PowerPoint outlining their process and included photo documentation of the bridge building.
Coach Causey gave us some insight as to what he hopes for next year with a fresh class of seniors. “The record has been broken three times over the past three years; in 2015 the record was set at 285 lbs. which was then broken in 2016 with 385 lbs., and now has been broken for the third time this year. What I’d like to see in the future is for seniors to take more care in their bridge design; that is what Abbie and Christina did and it worked in their favor.”
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