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Students in Meridian get hands on with physics

For a small school, with just about 30 students per graduation class, this technology is a game changer! (KBOI Staff photo)

Students at The Ambrose School in Meridian are breaking out of the books and are learning physics in real life!

Through a grant from the Idaho CapEd Foundation, the school was able to buy a set of motion detectors that are allowing the students to get hands on with their physics lessons.

"We can see a real life application of what we have been learning in class," said Kensington Matthew Watts, a Junior at The Ambrose School. "Whereas before, we just kind of made up problems and worked [them] out by ourselves."

Velocity and momentum are no longer just equations on paper. Using model cars, tracks, and the motion detectors, the students are turning the concepts of physics into something tangible.

The motion detectors are used to measure position, velocity, and acceleration of moving objects. This gives students a chance to observe and test a variety of scenarios related to collisions and cars.

"Getting our hands into it and putting the cars together helps apply those ideas to a larger scale," said Jacob Francis, a Junior at The Ambrose School. "I think seeing how the different springs effect the energy absorption helps us understand how that would happen in a real crash."

For a small school, with just about 30 students per graduating class, this technology is a game changer!

It's inspiring the students to come up with new experiments all on their own.

"It gives them the flexibility to explore," said Ken Hosier, Head of the Science Department at The Ambrose School. "I have noticed them really thrive. When [they] are applying concepts to something you care about, they tend to learn better and remember it better."

In the future, Mr. Hosier says he hopes this hands on experience will help launch his students into engineering internships.

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