Creative Projects 2003


Jonathan Lo
Andrew Yao

For our physics project, we recorded a series of interviews regarding the opinions towards Mr. Laba. To us, Mr. Laba is a mysterious man with many undiscovered truths concerning his life, profession, and personality. We went around the school to interview many students who have taken his class or related to Mr. Laba in some way. We also interviewed many teachers such as Dr. Hillyer, Mr. Donaldson, Mr. Hansel, Mr. Mrozek and Mrs. Erdei. We even made a music video to the song, “Jesus Brother Bob” by Arrogant Worms because of his very close resemblance to the Son of God. We as well went as deep as to interview the great Laba himself. Our goal was to find the answer to our questions but unfortunately even after completing the video, we still find Mr. Laba a mystery. The project itself was an overall success but our journey to strive for the truth completely failed.


Anne Baxter and Laura MacDonald

Jaywalking: Physics Style

Laura and Anne spent an afternoon in Northpark asking random people physics questions.  The idea was based on Jaywalking – asking people questions and hoping for stupid answers.  The result was a milieu of responses varying from dumb looks to surprisingly exact answers.  The girls learned the art of reading people from the way that they walked in order to figure out whether they had somewhere to go or had time to waste answering physics questions.  The rejections they experienced were from the elderly only – afraid of what they looked like on camera or just plain senile.  Laura and Anne then took to the hallways of ESD, asking a variety of questions to upper school students like Jonathan Dietz, Zoe Jones, Hallie Roe, and Edward Bogle.  The high schoolers had some very creative answers to the specific question: “What is torque?”.  And Zoe said that Mr. Laba looks like a lobster (don’t pay any attention to her Mr. Laba, she was in an unusually strange mood that day).


John Jamison, Michael Van, Howard Rauscher

John Jamison, Michael Van, and Howard Rauscher explored physics by using water balloons.  In the first section of their video, water balloons were thrown at angles in the air to show projectile motion.  In the second section, water balloons were dropped at a height to show free fall motion.  In the third section, examples of relative velocities were shown by water balloons.  Water balloons were thrown at stationary targets by moving objects and moving targets by stationary objects.  In the fourth and final section, John, Michael, and Howard snuck up on people and broke waters balloons on them.


Chris Jensen

            To me, I never thought of sports involving anything that I learn about in school.  For my physics project, I decided to analyze my favorite subject (physics) and how it applies to my favorite sport (hockey).  The name of my project is Physics, Hockey, and You.  The process of filming was rather difficult because there was a lot of footage with very little that could be explained accurately in physics terms.  The two aspects of hockey that I analyzed were slapshots and body checks.  For the slapshot, I determined things like how far the puck traveled in air and the angle it was shot at, the acceleration and velocity of the puck, and how much force the puck had hitting me (the goalie).  For the body check, I analyzed how much acceleration the player had and how much force he had hitting the other player.  There are many other situations where physics is applied to hockey; in fact, the entire game itself involves physics.  Most players never go through the calculation before they take a shot or make a save.  It all comes naturally.



Ashish Bhatia
Daniel Greenberg
Eric Migicovsky

The JP Rocket Mobile

            Building this car required ridiculous amounts of man-hours.  Literally taking all night, the frame of the car was built from a “Build It Yourself” kit, bought from a hobby shop.  After repeatedly visiting an expert, we finally completed the chassis and retrofit the aluminum rocket support bar so that we could attach the propulsion systems (model rocket engines).  After repeated trial and error to try and lock the car’s wheels straight, we discovered that the F-class rocket provided way too much force, making the car spin crazily out of control!  (WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH)  So we used less powerful rockets, and calculated values for physical variables using Forces and Momentum equations.  (Using average acceleration.)  So, yeah, then we lit it on fire and fired up the subwoooofers and it went boom boom boom.
And then we flewwwwwwwww away.


Randall Lumry

Click Here to Download Video – warning – large file.

My project is centered around how the students of honors physics are extremely devoted to Mr. Laba and the realm of physics. I used a spin off of the 20/20 investigation show called 15/20 investigations. The investigation was titled, “The Cult of The Laba”, and focused on how the students believed that the Laba was a divine being. The main part of the short documentary was the search for the Temple of the Laba (A.K.A the physics room). The investigation took the viewers into the room and pointed out different objects that seem strange to people on the outside but are common if you belong to the “cult”. The documentary has comedic inclinations and is meant to be what you would first think when walk in the door. The documentary also featured a ceremony performed by the cult members were they read from the sacred book of the Laba. The investigation ends with a series of cut-scenes including the famous: “If you have not started this project by now…your SCREWED!” and me being hit by a car. This project was definitely the most fun to make but it took some time. PRAISE LABA!!!


Ian Jacobi

The Linear Attractive Ballistic Accelerator

For my physics project, I chose to build a linear magnetic accelerator (or Gauss Rifle) that I dubbed the Linear Attractive Ballistic Accelerator, or the L.A.B.A. for short.  The primary purpose of the L.A.B.A. was to launch a small ¼ inch ball bearing from the end of a trough by utilizing conservation of energy and the power of ferromagnetic attraction.  Through the use of several tests with 50 strong magnets that I purchased, it was determined that the optimal number of ball bearings needed for each of the L.A.B.A.’s magnets was three and the optimal spacing of magnets was 1 ½ inches apart, so as to get the most efficient energy transfer requiring the least amount of kinetic energy to free the third ball bearing from the magnet’s attraction.  Unfortunately however, though it was successful in launching the final ball bearing at 8.5 miles per hour (calculated), it was not as fast as initially predicted for an accelerator with as many magnets as it had.  Therefore, I suppose it was not nearly as successful as I had hoped.  Nevertheless, most people had a positive opinion of the accelerator and thought it was cool.  For such a simple design, most people were surprised that it could launch ball bearings so well.


Soren Sudhof
Yves Sagnieres

            After viewing past projects, we decided to create a fictional land called Labaland.  Basing it on the Flatland idea, on our experiences in the class throughout the year, and our natural desire to brag about our abilities and use our imaginations constructively.  We conceived of religious, social, economic, governmental, and military aspects of the land and included such details as Ashish the “court jester”, Gloverland, One Flag Over Labaland, Yves the military behemoth and Soren the genius.  Our project found its physical expression in many aspects:  we drew a map, designed and constructed several bills of the currency, (the “Jeffs”), digitally manipulated images to construct an image of the dictatorial statue of Mr. Laba, passed around a timeline of Labaland’s basic history, included a photo of the court jester, posters of the basic characteristics of Labaland’s institutions. This project was amusing and refreshing, since it allowed us to sit around using our imaginations and laugh at our own jokes (note: this short fun period ceased when we began manifesting these idea and writing and organizing our project, so we did suffer some.)


Lauren Speyer

            For my fourth quarter physics project, I chose to make a lab coat for Mr. Laba. Fashion design is what I would like to do as my major, and I thought this would be a good experience and allow me to finish an assignment as well. First, I went to the fabric store and picked out a lab coat pattern the picked out the fabric, choosing white material for the main part and robot material for the pockets. I had to lay out all the fabric, pin on the patterns, cut the fabric, and finally sew. The process was complicated and long (about 6 hours total) but at the same time enjoyable and rewarding.



Jonas Miller
For my project, I researched the intricacies of the physics involved in playing a round of golf. I conveyed information regarding the major tenants of physics regarding the golf swing, putting stroke and the aerodynamics of a golf ball. Such tenants involved in a round of golf include: Newton’s third law of motion, moment of inertia, friction, Bernoulli’s principle of lift, the coanda effect as well as the pull of gravity on a golf ball as it gently rolls over a surface known as the “green” into a five and three quarter inch cup known as the “hole.” More importantly, the goal of my project was to prove that an expert knowledge in the field of physics can definitely cut strokes off your next round of 18. As the great Arnold Palmer once said, “Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening - and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented.”