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The Pulse

The Pulse

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The Annual Physics Boat Race is on

Physics Students Prepare their Cardboard Boats
Juniors+Seth+Conner+and+Seth+Waites+race+in+the+grand+championship+of+the+annual+Physics+Boat+Race.+
Libby Young
Juniors Seth Conner and Seth Waites race in the grand championship of the annual Physics Boat Race.

The races are on. Cardboard boats rush into the pool while the crowd hurrahs the students. Six heats, 32 boats, one winner.

This year’s 2024 physics boat race was the 20 anniversary. Tradition is very fond in everyones’ lives, and this was just one of many for Mooresville High School that started with Dale Graves in 2004. Mr. John Hoffman, the most recent physics teacher, unexpectedly passed away earlier in the month, so this year’s boat race was re-dedicated as the Hoffman-Graves Memorial Boat Race.

The AP physics students played a huge role in putting together the boat race for the students in physics. Most of this year’s AP physics students had previously participated in the boat race, making the process a little less overwhelming. These students also had a lot of support from teachers, including: Mr. Wes Upton, Mr. Brandon Mikesell, Mrs. Zook, and many more, which helped them feel more confident about continuing on with the race.

“It was nice to continue [the boat race] because it was something that we knew [Mr. Hoffman] would’ve wanted us to continue, even though he passed, and we still had him with us during the whole process,” senior Sarah Colin said.

The physics boat race was a different way for physics students to learn about multiple elements of physics, while having fun and spending time with friends.

“It gives [the students] a chance to design based on different elements of physics,” science teacher, Kimberly Zook said.

The grand champion winners of the boat races were juniors Seth Conner and Seth Waites; their boat design was a vivid yellow banana named, “SS George.” They came up with their boat design and name from the show Curious George. To build the SS George boat, they were only allowed to use cardboard and duct tape.

“We thought of something that would be fun and interesting to do for the race and [the banana] kind of just came to us,” Conner said.

Conner and Waites applied the element of physics by implying the topics of fluid dynamics, bouncy, along with inertia. Oars were a big part of the racers’ designs because they were the students’ main source of movement during the races. Their boat, SS George, was built very well and had a lot of speed overall, which resulted in their win of the 2024 annual Physics Boat Race. 

“With strong cardboard tubing, we cut them in half, and put two layers of cardboard on top and stuffed it into the tubes; also building a back support on top of it, and taped it all together to make it waterproof without causing it to bend with pressure,” Waites said.

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About the Contributors
Sidney Stultz, Pulse Reporter
Sidney Stultz joined the MHS Student Media team in 2024. Besides being on the student media staff, Sidney enjoys playing with her dogs, reading, hiking, and spending time with her friends and family.
Libby Young, Editor-in-chief, Wagon Trails Yearbook
Libby Young joined the MHS Student Media team in 2022. Besides being on the student media staff, Libby likes to hangout with her cats and loves listening to Phoebe Bridgers. Libby also serves as Editor in Chief for the Wagon Trails Yearbook.
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