Weimar Academy Students Excel with Physics Projects

Author Ellen White must have had Weimar Academy students in mind in 1872 when she wrote “The brain is the capital of the body, the seat of all the nervous forces and of mental action.” Six academy seniors are using their brain in designing physic and electronic engineering projects.

Weimar Academy seniors conduct physics projects related to surveillance and security. From left to right (front): Joshua Li, Justin Ross, Nicholas Donavan, Eryka Liu. Back row: Rebekah Lundquist and Freja Nelson.

Divided into two teams of three each, these students are using Python code, infrared cameras, and sensors to design security systems.

With prototypes in their classrooms, one team designed “Catchy”, a surveillance system for timestamping when homework assignments were turned in. All seniors, Joshua Li, Justin Ross, and Eryka Lui were equally involved in the design and implementation of a completely automated system that captures when fellow students drop their homework into the collection folder.

When describing the system, the students used words like “Raspberry pi”, “Breadboard” and “Python”.

Raspberry pi is a credit card-sized, single-board computer while breadboard is troubleshooting lab equipment in electronics. Python is a high-level, general-purpose, programming language with syntax that allows programmers to express concepts in fewer lines of code than other languages.

The second team, consisting of seniors Nicholas Donavan, Rebekah Lundquist, and Freja Nelson, designed an inventory surveillance motion system with infrared sensors.

Using the supply closet in the classroom, the students set up a camera to capture a photograph of each time an item was removed from stock. The project sends a time-stamped photograph to the desktop or the monitor’s cell phone.

“It’s fun to learn and debug code,” stated Nicholas Donavan.

Under the direction of Physic Instructor John Peacock, these students also used Python programming for their multi-component project.

Academy Principal Chad Bernard said, “I am excited to see these kids problem solving in such a hands-on, dynamic way. I believe this is an example of students experiencing the type of “source learning” that Ellen White encourages in the book Education.”