Mobile Mania makes physics fun at Canfield High
By Amanda Tonoli
Parents, students, teachers and older brothers and sisters cast their votes Wednesday afternoon for the best physics project mobiles at Canfield High School.
Canfield’s Mobile Mania is in its 22nd year, growing from a mere hands-on experience to a full-fledged physics Olympics.
Physics teacher Stephen Hlaudy said the class used to be a lot of numbers and a little fun until he hosted a lab for students to put their skills to the test with seesaws and teeter-totters.
“They really got interested when I told them they could bring in their own things and we would balance them,” Hlaudy said.
It was then that his students began bringing the class home with them.
Mitch Halley, 17, said the class enables him to have fun while learning.
“Normally the math part of the class would shy people away,” he said. “Actually being able to [build it] is fun.”
Anna Cincinnato, 17, said although she enjoyed making her mobile – a five-day process – she most enjoyed seeing the final product.
“After putting it up, it’s nice actually seeing the hard work you put into it,” she said.
Not only did Cincinnato say she appreciated the value of her finished project, but she also liked how the class taught her about physics in her everyday life.
“Every time I see anything anymore, I see it as related to physics,” she said.
Hlaudy said that’s his most rewarding takeaway from being a physics teacher.
“The fact that they start seeing physics everywhere – because it is everywhere – just means I’m doing my job,” he said. “This just became one of the little events that gets them there.”
Once Hlaudy does a final ballot count, students on the winning teams will make the physics wall of fame in his classroom.