Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Egg Launch and wind near a building

During the end of October, Covenant Christian High School held their annual Egg Launch, an event where students build capsules to protect eggs launched from the roof of a building. The overall goal is for distance. In addition, Physics students are faced with the challenge of limiting their egg capsule to fifteen centimeters in diameter while AP Physics students are required to construct their capsule in less than five minutes. Through this event, we learned more about trajectory, gravity, and the effects of air resistance, in addition to figuring out what materials are the most shock absorbent. Much of the challenge is figuring out how to build a capsule as small and light as possible.

On the day of the egg launch, there was minimal wind, with maximum gusts of not much more than 1 m/s. Due to the size of the egg capsules, the wind likely had a negligible effect on the distance of the egg launch. But as a well struck baseball will only travel half as far as it would have it were to travel in a vacuum, air resistance does have an appreciable effect. Overall, out of 100 eggs, 21 survived with the maximum distance being over 60 meters. Obviously their grade wasn't based on the survival of the eggs. You can read more about the rules, parameters and grading of the Egg Launch at this site.

The AP Physics still participate in this event as an enjoyable review of collisions, conservation of energy and projectile motion. They do not need to write the paper again, but they do need to do the calculations. Their rules are there are no rules except to construct the protective container in the first five minutes of class.

So while I was on the roof, I took the opportunity to measure the wind speed, as previously mentioned. I put the TI-Nspire CX CAS and the TI-Nspire Lab Cradle with the anemometer on a larger metal contraption on the roof, over 5.6 meters above the ground. As I was cleaning up, I forgot to look there for the TI-Nspire. The next day I get to school and am looking all over the place for the it. I finally figure out that the only place it could be is on the roof. I would not recommend putting your Nspire to a test like this. I'm certain it is not waterproof, but it withstood a large amount of dew as seen in the pictures below. We were praising God that the devices were created with some quality durability.

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