The Academy physics classes took off Friday, March 23, for an all-day venture to Busch Gardens. However, this trip was not just a fun day off from school; instead, the students took part in Physics Day at the park, learning about how the physical sciences affect the various elements of Busch Gardens. Chaperoned by Mrs. Camille Jowanna, Ms. Judy Perrella, and Ms. Danielle Groenen, along with five parents, the classes were bound for an exciting day at the theme park.
Though most girls wanted to jump on the roller coasters as soon as they hopped off the buses, the College Prep, Honors, and AP classes had to complete worksheets that aided their hands-on approach to learning about a real-world application of physics. Their worksheets corresponded to the different rides at the park, and the students calculated ride speeds, g forces, and momentum using their learning from throughout the year.
For those girls who would rather stay off of Sheikra and some of the more thrilling coasters, USF physics students ran biomechanic interactive stations at special sections in the park. In these demonstrations and hands-on activities, they calculated the speeds of animals based on stride length, figured out animals’ hypothetical wingspan, learned how magnets are used for roller-coaster brakes, and played with oobleck, a gooey, non-newtonian fluid.
The AHN classes capped off their educational visit with the interactive show “Physic Phundamentals,” hosted by representatives from NASA. They viewed demonstrations involving the different aspects of physics, such as liquid nitrogen, air pressure, plasma, g force, dry ice, and bubbles. Two lucky Academy girls, Konner Brewer and Leigh Anne Russell, were selected to participate in a demonstration involving the formation of smoke rings with an air cannon.
Ms. Groenen remarked about the day, “As a teacher, it was great seeing my students so excited and enthusiastic about using physics in the real world and making connections to things they’ve learned in class.”
Hopefully the students took this enthusiasm back to Academy, where it will guide them to a “phantastic” fourth quarter.