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Summer Academy students put physics into practice
Josh Stewart, left, and Cole Broadhead led balloonists to the launch site. Photo by Wayne Nicholls

Summer Academy students put physics into practice

Jun 21, 2013 - By Andrea Novotny, Staff Writer

Students in Brian Shultz's Summer Academy learned about physics through the construction of their own model airplanes, model rockets, hot air balloons, ancient weapons (catapults) and solar ovens, and then put their creations to the test.

Each of these one-week courses focuses on a different project and culminates in students getting to see how well their projects perform their intended purposes.

Classes meet for an hour each day and are offered to students in grades 4-8.

"It gives kids something to do where they're active, and they're not sitting in front of a TV," Shultz said. "They experiment. Sometimes things don't go the way they expected, but they have fun."

The classes provide an opportunity for students to have fun while also learning valuable skills. In the solar oven class, students learn how to follow directions while putting together their ovens, and at the end of the course they get to cook hot dogs and smores.

In the model airplane classes, students learn about aerodynamics. In the hot air balloon class, they learn about volume, and how to experiment to create the most functional final product. The longest flight this year was 8.4 seconds.

Shultz offers different classes, all focused on physics, each year in the Summer Academy.

His classes were part of the 64 classes offered in "R" Recreation's Summer Academy program.

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