Mepham High School’s Physics Olympiad team, comprising Nicole Altomare, Corryn Chaimowitz, Connor Garet, Brian Keohane and Matthew Waldmann, captured the first-place overall trophy at the recent Physics Olympics sponsored by the Long Physics Teachers Association at SUNY Farmingdale.
Fifteen teams participated in five events: •The Kilogrammy event, for which students determined the mass of an object, hung from a series of strings, by measuring the tension and angles of the strings supporting it.
•The Pendulum of Doom, for which students predicted the range of a pendulum that is cut by a razor blade at the bottom of its swing based upon its height of release.
•The Marshmallow Challenge, an engineering design project, for which teams use spaghetti, tape and string to create the tallest tower supporting a marshmallow.
•The Fermi Event, for which students estimated the size or value of quantities. An example of a Fermi question would be, “How many drops of water are in all of the oceans on Earth?”
•The Physics Bowl, a game show-style event testing student’s general physics knowledge.
The Mepham team placed first in the in the Physics Bowl and the Marshmallow Challenge, as well as took third place in the Pendulum of Doom. The team took the first-place overall trophy with 66 points, compared with the 57 points earned by the second-place team.