Knotts Berry Farm Physics Day
Last updated 5/13/2020 at 10:03am
The park was not open yet, sun barely shining in the sky, and Knott's Berry Farm was already full of people gearing up for the annual Physic's Day competition, where over 60 schools competed for a chance to win cool prizes, and earn bragging rights.
Fourteen Borrego Springs High School juniors and seniors competed in this year's competition on March 12, and left the park victorious, with each team taking home four of the nine prizes available.
For six months, the students in Lydia Gordon's physic's class have been calculating, designing and building roller coasters with specific guidelines in order to compete. They built intricate paper models of their roller coasters, constantly making additions and adjustments.
The students had to examine conversions between kinetic and potential energy, and frictional effects to design their custom coasters.
The students in Randy Peyakov's welding class were brought in to also help in bringing their masterpieces to life.
The competition first started nineteen years ago, thanks to Westminster High School teachers Kathleen Iverson and Jim Pacellic, who suggested to Knott's about hosting a "Physic's Day," so students could experience real-life applications of science. The curriculum developed includes classroom work and a day in the park.
There are also several activities and competitions. Among the most popular is the roller coaster contest, where students build their coasters and bring them to the park. The roller coasters are then judged by physic's teachers and members of the American Coaster Enthusiasts on technical and creative aspects.
Other activities include paper towel building, making and flying paper airplanes, a rubber band car race and a scavenger hunt.
Awards are given to the most creative, exciting and the ones that showcase the best technical roller coasters. First place receives four free tickets each for each team member to the park, second place gets two free tickets, and third place gets one. Each member also gets a personal trophy, plus plaques to put up in the office.
This year, they faced some stiff competition, but all the students were ecstatic that all their hard work over the course of time paid off.
"It was crazy because each category you heard, 'Borrego Springs High School' being announced," Gordon said.
Most Creative, First Place: Jennifer Ramirez, Daniela Carmona, Blaine Shugart and Kai Cedeno
Most Creative, Second Place: Delaney Barclay, Cristina Arias, Laurynn Strate and Jenny Sencion
Best Roller Coaster, Third Place: Kate Abores, Angelica Garica and Ashley Hernandez
Most Exciting, Third Place: Juan Fuerte, Bladimir Rangel and Ashanty Rangel