Five CF teams advance to State in physics contest at UNI Dome

By: Sarah Stortz

Twenty eight CFHS students boarded on a bus on March 24 to take the physics related concepts they’ve learned in class and apply them at the McLeod Center in hopes of earning a medal. In the end, Cedar Falls placed second overall and sent five teams on to the state competition.

The physics competitions offer five different events for teams of two to compete. The events that CFHS students participated in included the catapult event where a team constructs a catapult that must shoot a projectile at a target, the mousetrap car event where the car must go exactly five meters after being snapped, the soda straw arms event and the challenge problem event.

The overall goal for each team is to advance to the state competition that will take place on April 12. In order to advance to State, teams must finish at either first or second place on whatever event they competed in.

Senior Ben Louviere was one of the students who spent the majority of his Friday spectating different types of physics related concepts at the Dome. “It was actually a lot more fun than I expected just because a bunch of us from the physics class got to hang out and see all the cool projects that other kids were doing,” Louviere said. “We also got to see the robotics competition, and a lot of us haven’t really seen anything like that before.”

Louviere and his partner, senior Jacob Watters, entered the competition with a mouse-trap car against 23 other teams.

“It was a rush to compete,” Louviere said. “[Our car] went way farther than it was supposed to, but at the end of that day, you can´t contain the raw power that we had.”

Science teacher Meghan Reynolds was one of the advisers who accompanied the students on the trip. Overall, Reynolds was highly satisfied with how the physics students performed.

“There were a lot of other really good schools that competed against us, so I thought we did really well,” Reynolds said “Just seeing the students being really proud of what they created is what I enjoy so much about this. Whether they got a medal or not, I think everyone should be really proud of all of the hard work they did.”

Senior Madison McCann  and her partner senior McKayla Mix earned first place out of 30 teams for their toothpick bridge, and both will eventually test their bridge design again within the next couple weeks. Both girls decided to enter this event specifically due to how well their bridge performed at the school competition last semester. “Some of the bridges there looked really elaborate, and some of the people looked pretty intimidating, so we didn´t know if we were going to win or not,” McCann said. “We tested our bridge really early, and we were waiting around a long time, so the suspense was really building.”

Although his team didn’t reach the state level, Louviere said that he was still glad to”have such a blast” at the competition.

“I could not be more proud of the way Jacob and I performed and celebrated our love for physics together,” Louviere said “It was a great chance to see some of the great minds of what kids my age are doing to have fun with this kind of stuff.”

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