Physics students turned engineers

Brett Drake, Reporter

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Though nothing new to the program, the annual hype around research projects in physics is something teacher Luke Luginbuhl looks forward to.  However, he admits this year’s students have shattered his expectations.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time, probably about 10 years or so and these are the best I’ve ever seen,” Luginbuhl said.

Taking advantage of the opportunity to work with ISU professors as well as U-High engineering students, Luginbuhl’s classes were able to truly branch out and go beyond their limits.

An example of this is junior Ryan Poland’s project.  Poland designed and built an “Eyewriter”.

“An Eyewriter enables someone to use their computer to do simple actions and draw in a basic program with only their eye,” Poland explained.

Poland admitted that although the building of the mechanism was fairly easy, creating the software and programming it proved to be very difficult, yet served as a good learning opportunity.

“I had to kind of teach myself how to build and run programs which is a great new skill,” Poland said.

Poland wasn’t the only one utilizing engineering skills. Seniors Jon Rink and Laura Endsley worked to create a robotic hand that closes and opens by detecting muscle impulses through a muscle sensor in your forearm. Juniors Katana Colledge and Rowan Scott fabricated a prototype of Geckskin, a new super-adhesive that can stick to a window and hold hundreds of pounds leaving no residue after you remove it. A symposium favorite was the hovercraft designed by junior Emanuel Bada senior Jordan Ho’s.

“Our project was about how to create a hovercraft out of household items for a cheap price,” junior Bada said.

Bada and senior Jordan Ho teamed up to create this hovercraft by watching various YouTube tutorials and had a great time doing it.

“I thought the whole experience was really fun and would like to do it again so I could make improvements,” Bada said.

Although these are only among a few that stood out, Luginbuhl thought all of this year’s students created something special.

“There’s quite a few that are really spectacular.”

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Physics students turned engineers