WEIRD SCIENCE

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    No torches were lit during Saturday’s Physics Olympics, but eggs were smashed to bits.The TCU Society of Physics Students hosted its third Physics Olympics in the Sid Richardson Building on Saturday.

    Students from five area high schools formed nine four-person teams to compete in five events. Mark Dunleavy, the Webmaster for SPS, said the winner was the team with the highest score when the grades from the five events were totaled.

    SPS organized all of the day’s events without the instruction of a professor, Dunleavy said, and was different from years past when professors were directly involved in the process.

    Each event was weighted the same, and a 30-minute time limit was allotted for each lab, said Sarah Duesman, a sophomore SPS member.

    Olympic events included a bull’s eye test in which students calculated the trajectory of a steel ball shot from a spring-loaded launcher. Students attempted to aim the launcher to hit the center of a target for a perfect score.

    Students fashioned egg-protection devices using plastic plates, straws, toothpicks, plastic grocery bags and paper, and tested them by dropping their creations two stories.

    The event was timed, and part of the competition involved how quickly an intact egg could be retrieved from the device, said senior Sarah Hernandez, SPS president.

    Two labs were written tests on general physics knowledge: one multiple choice test and the other short answer, Dunleavy said.

    He said after the competitions had ended, students toured three science labs and viewed demonstrations about refraction and light properties.

    The Student Government Association provided most of the funding for the event, Hernandez said.

    Fort Worth Country Day School and James W. Martin High School tied for first place. An egg-drop tiebreaker placed Fort Worth Country Day School in first when James W. Martin High School’s egg cracked on the pavement.

    Hernandez said the winners of the competition received a plaque and SPS T-shirts.

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