Helena AP Physics students "throw" final exam

Helena AP Physics students
Posted at 3:56 PM, May 28, 2024

HELENA — High School is a great time to learn more advanced concepts in math, engineering and laying siege to the enemy castle.

AP Physics students from Helena and Capital High School built trebuchets, catapults and ballistae as part of their final exam. Dubbed “Angry Birds Cross Town” the event is a friendly competition between the two schools with students launching projectiles at a cardboard keep.

Helena AP Physics Students

“There’s a ton of physics principles that go into this,” explained Capital High AP Physics teacher DeLacy Humbert. “They have to do a lab report and that kind of stuff too. Work on one-dimensional and two-dimensional kinematics, momentum forces. It all comes together pretty easily and the engineering process is always pretty fun too.”

While the principles at work are fairly simple, the execution of all of them together in a practical way is more difficult. Students teams spent hours designing and testing their contraptions before the final.

Helena AP Physics students

“A lot of physics, a lot of leverage and gravity,” said Helena High Junior Chris Jenemann.

Elliot Stimpson, also a junior at Helena High, added “Kind of just brings together everything we’ve learned the whole year.”

Helena AP Physics students

Whether the students were launching balls a couple of feet or over a hundred feet in some cases, they all agreed this was a great way to wrap up the year and certainly beat taking a test inside.

“Oh it’s a lot better, a lot less stressful and just makes school more exciting which is very much needed this time of year,” Capital High Sophmore Brayden Brisko told MTN.

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“I think it’s also more applicable,” added Capital High Junior Kate Drynan. “Actually getting to do it and understand it, instead of taking a test on it and doing math, you get to see how it works, build it yourself so that’s always fun.”

Friday’s event is ultimately what high school is all about—learning some advanced concepts while making some great memories with friends.

Helena AP Physics students