Creative Projects 2005


Elisa Ballard
For my quarter project I chose to create a poster with some inside jokes
and a few memorable problems accumulated throughout the year. The second
part of my project included a creative story that included parallels to
the story about Newton and the apple, Flatland, and past physics problems.
The essay pertains to the end of the school year and memories which become
flashbacks of my classmates and class activities.


Group: Jonathan Cheung, Roland Sudhof, Scott Barrentine
The Gallows

Our group decided to make a gallows in order to hang Mr. Laba.  We couldn’t necessarily do that…so we made a manikin instead.  The gallows is a wonderful execution device that makes us proud.


Jessica Cortez
For my 4th quarter project I wrote a fictional story based on our physics class.  The story involves what might happen if a student were to fall asleep during a discussion on the Theory of Relativity.


Ally Duffy and Kai’li Taylor
We created an art project based on the relationship between art and
physics, and the idea that knowledge of both individually combined then
adds a new dimension to our understanding. We based the four section on
the front side on problems and situations we encountered throughout the
year. On the back is a problem from our homework concerning the tension on
the strings holding a piece of art adapted to the specifics of our own
modern art project.


Leslie Georgatos, Alie Fishman, Robin Goyle
For our project, we put together a carousel and a Ferris wheel. Each mini-ride had a small motor attached to make it turn. First, to make the motors actually turn the rides, we had to attach small gears that connected the tip of the whirling motor to the ride itself, and we had to use parts from an unrelated kit to do that. We also had to place the motors at the center of mass of the carrousel to make it turn without wobbling. Attaching the motors in a simple but effective way proved to be impossible, so we resorted to using marbles and oil to balance the carousel. We had to place the marbles around the motor in small measuring spoons filled with oil so that the carousel would stay balanced when it was turning. We also had to make a slick surface for the bottom of the carousel, so we used a plastic plate sprayed with Pam. The carrousel uses two Styrofoam plates as ceiling and floor, uses plastic horses, has a wooden base where the motor sits, has a cardboard central column from a roll of paper towels, and uses the aforementioned teaspoons and marbles. For the Ferris wheel, our biggest problem was supporting the mechanism without hindering its motion – lifting it from the ground. We ended up placing a nail through a cog to balance one side of it and allow for easy movement and poked the motor into a thread spool to create as little friction and as much force from the motor as possible. The Ferris wheel uses two wooden circles, seats we made from wood, axles we cut from wood, gears, two homemade a-frames, and the spool mentioned before. Both rides worked well in the end, even though the cost of the two 12-volt batteries and several motors ended up being great, and both rides go very fast. These rides have multiple applications to physics and to the physics class; these rides were built in honor of the class trip to Six Flags and involve physics concepts like the center of mass (involved in balancing the carrousel), rotational motion, friction (we wanted as little as possible for the carrousel and Ferris wheel while turning and a lot between the gears and the objects we wanted turned), and inertia (we had problems overcoming the Ferris wheel’s natural tendency to stay still).

Garrett Pin and Peter Mataragas – Built a Hovercraft
When we were assigned our Physics creative projects, we decided to build something. Initially our fascination was in physics instruments that we used in labs and observed Mr. Laba using in demonstrations, such as spring scales, gyroscopes, and an instrument to measure the center of mass of an object. We found that building some of those things would be both impractical and very difficult. We decided to build a hovercraft instead, motivated by the image of Mr. Laba floating around the gym or hovering alone in his office doing whatever he does in there. We found the basic instructions for building the hovercraft online, as well as numerous pictures of ugly “five-year-old” quality ones. After assembling it, we tested it to make sure it worked. Then we added safety precautions and unique specifications such as bumpers, and a seat, so it would be easier to ride. We also chose to spray paint it so it would look COOL.
We called it the Labacraft, in honor of Mr. Laba. We then put our company name on it (because we will have a company together): PG TOYS INC. The PG has many connotations, of which you can figure them out yourself. It relates to the need to have parental guidance while using our company’s products, our personalities, maturity levels, and our names (among other things). The physics of the hovercraft are relatively simple, but since this is a fun page we won’t bore you with the details. All that is being incorporated is a high-pressure plenum chamber that lifts the craft up and that places a thin, frictionless film of air under it. The materials for the project (except the seat and leaf blower) cost us about $70. Once again, this price is well worth seeing Mr. Laba floating around the gym.


Jordan Actman and Kate Kennard
At first, Jordan wanted to make a cloud chamber. I don’t even really know what that is. But later the overachiever decided that that would be too easy. Our next idea was a life-size sculpture of Mr. Laba. We soon discovered that it would be near impossible to capture the magnificence of Mr. Laba at such a large scale. So we settled on smaller sculptures of each member of the class. But we needed an angle. We need something, bigger, better, physics-er. We settled on The Physicists, a group of highly knowledgeable, highly trained, highly physics-ized students.  They began their journey in August of 2004 and under the guidance of Mr. Laba formed an unstoppable sum-of-forces. I mean, the Torque Twins. Q: Who’s gonna mess with them? A: No one. And so the polymer clay became The Physicists bound together by their Captain-Planet-like rings. So wherever you are, whenever you’re in a Physics dilemma of massive proportion, whenever the 15th problem of Chapter # 17 seems impossible, they’ll be there. Whenever Mr. Laba repeats the now infamous phrase “Let us continue” and you want to retort, “Continue by yourself. I’m out,” they’ll be there.  In conclusion, “We are the Physicists; you can be one too.”



Ryan Mulvenna
I decided to write a story for my creative project.  The story begins with a typical day in the life of an honors physics student who is frantically trying to complete the homework on time.  The story then moves into a fictional* account of the life of Sir Isaac Newton and his discoveries.  Names used in the story were randomly selected. 

* Sir Isaac Newton was never named Newt.  He most likely did not run into a tree and discover gravity, the three laws of motion, and calculus in a midnight revelation.     

Tricia Jamison
This class has been the hardest science class that I have taken and
probably one of the hardest and most demanding ones at ESD. Because of my
struggle through this class during my Senior year, I decided to make a
Survival Kit. In this kit is everything a senior will need to get through
Mr. Laba's Honors Physics Class and hopefully not have to take the exam.
Looking back on the year, I wish I had known these things before I started
the year, but as the year progressed i figured these tips out and I want
to pass them on to the future seniors who decide to venture into the
Honors Physics Lab. These ideas and discoveries came to me after
struggling through the majority of my not-so-easy senior year. Best of
luck to all those who follow, and I hope that this Physics Survival Kit
will help you make it through.