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The News Website for Glendale High School

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The News Website for Glendale High School

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The Physics Pool Project!

Ms. Nikopoulos’ students built and raced boats made out of cardboard

At the end of this school year, several Glendale High School junior physics students had a final project that tested their engineering skills. First-year physics teacher, Ms. Maria Nikopoulos, created an assignment where her students had to build boats entirely out of cardboard and paper. They were not allowed to use any metal in their designs. 

The students had about five weeks to work on their projects, and the boats had to be large enough to fit two people. When the projects were due, the final test was to see if their crafts could survive a journey across the pool at the GHS Aquatic Center.

If students simply made a boat, they earned a C. If it sank after first being placed in the water, they earned a C+. If their boat made it halfway across the pool, they earned a B. If their watercraft made it all the way across the pool, they earned an A-, and if they made it midway back, they got an A. However, if their boat made it all the way back to where they began, they earned a coveted A+. 

Other classes were invited to come to the Aquatic Center and watch the launching of the boats. “I am so thrilled that this is a new tradition at GHS,” said Mr. Jon Livingston, who brought his Journalism students to watch the boats in action on May 31st. “We need more projects like this to make our kids interested in physics.”

Ms. Nikopoulos’ students were learning about Archimedes’ principle, which concerns buoyancy. This project was designed to test their knowledge on the subject, and students were required to make calculations, in order to make sure that their boats could hold the weight of the two subjects. They also need to determine the soundness of their structure. 

Overall, this project seemed very fun and challenging! Physics is now a requirement for graduation, so hopefully you’ll get to take it with Ms. Nikopoulos when you are a junior!

Stay afloat, Nitros!

Photography by Erica Mae Valdellon

About the Contributor
Samantha Bordey, Staff Writer
Samantha is a sophomore at Glendale High School. She is on the track and field team, and a member of the Filipino Club. In her down-time, she enjoys reading, watching films, and enjoying the company of her friends and family.
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