Senior physics classes participate in boat race

The Newtonite

by Samantha Libraty
Today, all Honors and Advanced Placement Physics classes participated in the annual Physics Boat Project race, an event this school has held for over 12 years, according to physics teacher Michael Hazeltine.
Seniors Jenny Hamilton, Thomas Harrington, Tiphaine Kugener, Steven Michael, Diana Sapashnik and Carter Tiernan from Hazeltine’s D-block AP Physics class won the race.
Hazeltine explained the origin of the project. “We first started the boat project in my Pilot and Springboard classes,” Hazeltine said. “However, once a Science MCAS became a graduation requirement, we didn’t have enough time at the end of the year.
“So, we moved it over to the AP Physics classes after the AP exams, and eventually the other senior physics teachers adopted it for their classes,” Hazeltine said.
The Physics Boat Project includes a variety of educational components and applies many of the physics concepts learned in classes, he added.
“Many of the students have never built anything, and the project them the opportunity to learn construction.”
The boats can only be constructed out of PVC pipes, duct tape, string and a plastic tarp, Hazeltine said. The boat cannot be longer than five feet, and the tarp, which is six by nine feet, has to fully cover the boat.
“The key to building a successful boat is to create a simple and well-constructed design that is not over engineered,” he said.