Exploring Physics Outside the Classroom

On January 21st, Mr. Virtusio and three students from his Bright Star Secondary Charter Academy (“BSSCA”) Physics classes attended a presentation by Dr. Edward Stone (former Director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena) at the California Institute of Technology. He presented to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council about the journeys and discoveries of NASA’s Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 explorations in space. These students were selected from the BSSCA Robotics Club because of their outstanding academic grades in their AP Physics 1 and Physics classes. The students who were chosen were: Senior Jonathan Castro, Chief Engineer; Junior Kevin Farias, Assistant Chief Engineer; and, Junior Obed Coy, Architect.

Bright Star students with Dr. Edward Stone

Bright Star students with Dr. Edward Stone

The presentation connected to different topics in Bright Star Secondary’s AP Physics and Physics classes such as the Law of Universal Gravitation, Electricity, and Magnetism. Physics students are also learning about trajectory, which scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory had to use in order to map the routes Voyagers 1 and 2 took. The presentation was an eye-opening experience for the students and a knowledgeable insight on the journey of the Voyager space probes.

The excitement isn’t over for the Bright Star Robotics Club! It has been awarded a Northrop Grumman Foundation VRC Team Grant that includes VEX Robotics hardware and a robot kit. As a result, the Robotics Team will be joining the VEX Robotics Competition this year, the largest and fastest growing middle and high school robotics program globally with more than 10,000 teams competing from 32 countries. Each year, an engineering challenge is presented in the form of a game, and students build innovative robots designed to score the most points possible during various challenges. In addition to having a great time and building amazing robots, students will learn many academic and life skills.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep up with the epic journey of the Bright Star Robotics Club. We can’t wait to see what they do next!

Written by Mr. Virtusio, Bright Star Secondary Physics Teacher
(Source: http://www.robotevents.com/robot-competitions/vex-robotics-competition)

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