Mill Valley News

Physics students participate in fourth annual marshmallow launcher competition

Students learn teamwork and physics principles through marshmallow launcher activity

Lauren Ocker, JAG editor-in-chief

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Preparing for his turn to launch his marshmallow on Tuesday, Oct. 10, junior TJ Smith listens to science teacher Chad Brown's instructions.

Students in physics teacher Chad Brown’s class put their knowledge to the test in a project building marshmallow launchers. The launchers were eventually showcased in class-wide competitions taking place Monday, Oct. 9 and Tuesday, Oct. 10.

The project was divided up into three class periods: a build day, trial day and the competition day. Students collected materials of their choice and brought them in for building.

Senior Sydney Ralston feels the project taught her lessons she could use in her day-to-day life.

“I loved it. It was so much fun, and it was a very hands-on way to teach us about speed, distance and acceleration,” Ralston said. “I think projects like this one are important because it shows us real life situations of how we can use physics to our advantage.”

According to Brown, the student’s goal is for their launcher to make the marshmallow go between two and seven meters in distance.

“What I want the students to see is how projectile motion works and the relationship between angle of launch and the horizontal distance that the marshmallow launches,” Brown said.

For Brown, hands-on activities help him teach his students concepts more efficiently.

“I think a lot of times physical activities cement things better in people’s minds,” Brown said. “Being able to do something and discover something for yourself is a lot more of an engaging learning experience.”

Learning to work well in a group is one of the most crucial life skills Brown believes comes from this experience.

“They had to work in their lab groups and assign tasks and figure out what their strengths and weaknesses are which is pretty important,” Brown said.

Ralston found that although the element of physics in the activity was difficult, it paid off when her team’s launcher was crowned victorious.

“I learned that it’s a lot harder than it looks to build a launcher, but it is fun to work in groups with other people,” Ralston said. “It felt amazing to win; I love having bragging rights in class.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

Mill Valley News intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. Mill Valley News does not allow anonymous comments, and Mill Valley News requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Physics students participate in fourth annual marshmallow launcher competition

    NEWS

    Several new classes are open to students

  • Physics students participate in fourth annual marshmallow launcher competition

    NEWS

    District announces suicide prevention initiative

  • Physics students participate in fourth annual marshmallow launcher competition

    NEWS

    Marine Biology club holds their first meeting of the year

  • Physics students participate in fourth annual marshmallow launcher competition

    Homecoming 2018

    Homecoming parade cancelled due to inclement weather

  • Physics students participate in fourth annual marshmallow launcher competition

    Homecoming 2018

    StuCo prepares for jungle-themed Homecoming week

  • Physics students participate in fourth annual marshmallow launcher competition

    NEWS

    StuCo aims to make changes in upcoming school year

  • Physics students participate in fourth annual marshmallow launcher competition

    NEWS

    Board of education announces goals for upcoming school year

  • Physics students participate in fourth annual marshmallow launcher competition

    NEWS

    Community rallies around senior injured in diving accident

  • Physics students participate in fourth annual marshmallow launcher competition

    NEWS

    Gallery: incoming freshmen welcomed to school at orientation

  • Physics students participate in fourth annual marshmallow launcher competition

    1999 to NOW: A library in the making

    New library opens on Hilltop Road

JagWire Newspaper | JAG Yearbook | MVTV
Physics students participate in fourth annual marshmallow launcher competition