Physics team places well at Final Frontiers

Nov. 15, 2002, midnight | By Kevin Fang | 18 years, 8 months ago

Blair's Physics Team placed in four of the six events at the Final Frontiers competition last Saturday, Nov 9.

Sophomores Renee Park, Sherri Geng, and Grace Huang finished first in the 8-9 grade division of the Aerocar event, which entails the construction of the heaviest car that travels the furthest distance.

In Newton's Nightmare, freshmen John Kim, Shwetadwip Chowdhury and John Silberholz placed first for grades 8-9, juniors Stanley Wang, Anran Wang and David Kim placed third for grades 10-12, and seniors Joshua Chang, Andrew Lee and Anatoly Preygel placed first in the Physics II competition. Newton's Nightmare is a physics test, where the team with the highest score wins.

Freshmen John Kim, Shwetadwip Chowdhury and Stanley He placed second in the 8-9 grade Mass Drivers competition, where students must construct a device that tosses two items at a given target with the greatest accuracy. This is the only event in which teams compete head-to-head.

The Mystery Event this year required students to create a hanging device made up of plastic straws that is able to hold the greatest number of marbles. The team of freshmen Ji-Sung Kim, Debbie Cheng, Natalie Salaets, juniors James Gao, Stanley Wang, Anran Wang, and seniors Joshua Chang and Lisa Kim placed third in this competition.

The other two events were Shuttle Arm and Lunar Bridge. In Shuttle Arm, students must construct a device made up of paper and tape (8-9) or paper only (10-12) that moves a 200 gram object onto a 30 cm high platform at least 50 cm away. In Lunar Bridge, students attempt to build the lightest wooden bridge that holds a set amount of weight.

Co-president Joshua Chang attributes the success of this year's team to a greater level of readiness. "I think we did better than previous years, winning more awards and being better prepared," he said. "This time we didn't have as many people building the devices at the competition."

Physics teacher and co-sponsor James Schafer expressed his contentment with the team's success as well. "I was very pleased with their performance," he said. "They did very well and their hard work really paid off."

This is the second year that the competition was held at Thomas S. Wootton High School. Last year's competition was originally scheduled at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, but was moved due to heightened security after the Sept 11 terrorist attacks.

Next on the list for the Physics Team is the Destination Imagination competition, which is similar to Final Frontiers, but according to Chang, "requires more creativity."

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