Thursday, October 6, 2011

Physics Students Show Off Their Artillery

High school physics students got some hands-on experience with the principles of physics they are learning in the classroom recently. Physics teacher Brian Lopas charged his students with the task of designing and building catapults that could launch a tennis ball and accurately hit a designated target.

Students had to use their knowledge of physics to figure out things like the perfect length for the arm, height of the catapult, and length of the cord that launches and holds the tennis ball. The students were to submit a neatly hand-written or typed report, which included the following: a design plan, data collection from test runs, data analysis using correct equations, and a conclusion summarizing results.


  1. It was great to see so many students excited about learning, using trial and error, and analyzing their specific projects in order to gain the most out of it. It was also a nice sight to see so many students willing to assist others with their project. A big thank you to Mr. Lopas for taking the time to make our students' learning real for them through this hands on project.

  2. I was able to check out the catapult projects during 7th period. My favorite part was watching the groups trouble shoot their projects. Two of the projects broke during the initial launch and then students had to get creative to fix and improve their catapults with limited time and resources. Great problem solving in action!