What’s black and white and “read” all over — and sometimes even used to make chairs? Well, newspapers, of course.
The students in the Stephen F. Austin High School honors physics course recently learned just how strong newspaper can be, but the lesson had nothing to do with journalism. The project, which called for students to make a “chair” using newspaper and masking tape that did not weight more than 4.4 lbs, taught students about forces.
Students were given the assignment about six weeks in advance so they could build a chair that would hold the weight of their teachers, Matt Wilson or Sarah Williams. They are both physics teachers at AHS.
“It’s a fun day in class, but it’s teaching the students a kind of real-world application of physics. It’s learning how to balance the forces and how to build a structure that can distribute its mass around so that it can maintain the weight of the person sitting on the chair.”, said Wilson.
Students in the class seemed to enjoy the project — although admitting it was a challenge. Mason Kallina’s chair withstood all the testing that Wilson could apply to it. Kallina said, “Projects like this one help make physics more fun. We have to think about real life and not just about equations.”
“The creativity that comes through when they do these projects is absolutely amazing. What I like is for them to express their creativity”, Williams said.