The physics department is celebrated within the walls of Madison High School for its consistent ability to intermingle study with fun. The efforts of this department to provide students with the true enjoyment of the subject culminated at the end of this school year with the annual physics trip to Six Flags: Great Adventure. Every student enrolled in a physics class at MHS over the past year was invited to join the recreation, under supervision by selected teachers from the physics department such as Mrs. Rawding and Mr. Largo.
Upon arrival at the amusement park, each student was given a packet brimming with formulas and word problems–the learning incorporated into the fun–which each was told to complete before the return to the high school. When the clock struck 10:30 a.m. and the park officially opened, students linked arms or grabbed hands, moving their legs as quickly as possible in order to ensure their positions on the very first ride of the day on the roller coaster of their choice.
After many voices had been strained due to enthusiastic howls, and hair stood directly upward as a result of extreme winds experienced on particularly high-speed coasters, many students could be seen taking a break at various picnic tables, calculators and physics packets in hand. Characteristic of the physics teachers’ hands on approach to educating students on the subject, the word problems which comprised the packet of paper were all relevant to different Six Flags roller coasters: calculating their height, speed, gravitational pull, etc.
“I actually felt like I learned something,” junior Yeshi Mitiku recalls of the word problems, “because [the problems] helped us understand why we felt the sensations we felt on certain rollercoasters. We learned that it was all about the gravitational pull and where it acted on us.”
At approximately 4 p.m., school buses returned to MHS to deliver the exhausted group of budding physicists, who, as the teachers had planned, relished in the excitement of their day and also benefited from their new-found knowledge and understanding of physics.