posted April 24, 2000

Physics Day Flight Contest

1st Place -- Kalamazoo Hackett High School (team #8)2nd place -- Holland West Ottawa High School (team #7)3rd place (tie) -- Kalamazoo Central High School (team #13)3rd place (tie) -- Holland Christian High School (team #16)

          HOLLAND -- Following in the footsteps of
  visionaries ranging from DaVinci to the Wright brothers,
  high school students across West Michigan are turning their
  minds skyward, seeking to solve the problem of flight.
          Teams of students from a dozen schools are
  preparing for the sixth annual Physics Day at Hope College,
  which will be held on Wednesday, May 3.  They have been
  challenged to design rubber band-powered model airplanes
  capable of carrying pennies.
          Each team's score will be determined by
  multiplying the number of pennies carried by the number of
  meters the airplane travels.  The result is that an aircraft
  that travels farthest but carries little cash may not win
  depending on how far a more-heavily-laden competitor manages
  to fly.
          How to achieve the best balance is one of the
  questions that the designers must face.  Every team has been
  provided with a rubber band and a propeller and some runway
  specifications, but from that point they're on their own in
  their decision-making.
          The flight contest is only one of three events in
  which the four-member teams will compete.  Later in the
  morning, like the television character "MacGyver," the teams
  will have a chance to solve a physics problem presented to
  them at the time, using only their wits and materials
  provided.  Following lunch, each team will solve a set of
  physics problems.
          The event is coordinated by the college's
  department of physics.  The two teams that earn the highest
  scores through the three events will receive a monetary
  prize to support the teaching of science at their respective
  high schools.
          The schools participating this year include:
  Bangor High School, Battle Creek Math and Science Center,
  Hackett High School, Holland Christian High School, Holland
  High School, Kalamazoo Central High School, Lansing Catholic
  Central High School, Manistee Catholic Central High School,
  Portage Central High School, Rockford High School, St.
  Joseph High School and West Ottawa High School.