Cry of the Hawk

The student news site of North Harford High School

Cry of the Hawk

Cry of the Hawk


Should the northern Harford County area have its own 'snow zone' for inclement weather days?

  • YES (92%, 60 Votes)
  • NO (8%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 65

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Gravity Cars take over atrium;

Students learn about forces, more
One group decided to make their gravity car Christmas-themed. The members even chose to add a tree and a light-up present.
Riley Herold
One group decided to make their gravity car Christmas-themed. The members even chose to add a tree and a light-up present.

     On Dec. 22, 2023, right before the winter break began, science teacher Mrs. Christine Jestels’ AP physics students conducted tests of their gravity cars in the atrium. The students were tasked with engineering a three or four-wheeled vehicle driven by a falling weight that was capable of going at least nine meters. The goal was to see how forces affect the motion of objects. 

     Jestel stated, “We have been studying how forces affect the motion of objects. We looked at how a force applied to an object gets another to accelerate that could either be speeding up or slowing down.”

     She continued, “ I decided to make the project a gravity drop car mostly because I want the AP physics students to have a chance to try engineering. This project blends the idea of engineering because the students had to take the base model for gravity cars and engineer it in their own way.”

     Many students added fun features to their cars. Some made them colorful, Christmas-themed, and even put lyrics of a song on their cars. 

     Junior Reagan Gorschboth stated, “We made our gravity car IT GIRL- themed. It was pink and on the bottom it had the lyrics of the song IT GIRL [by Aliyah’s Interlude].”

     As for Jestel, she said her favorite decorated cars were the Christmas-themed ones. She stated, “It was very special, especially for it being so close to Christmas.” 

     Gorschboth stated, “My partner did most of the work, but we constructed it together. We used a cardboard base, and wooden skewers to connect four CDs as the wheels. We also had two more skewers going up and one across to hold our pulley system, and then a string that I used for my pointe shoes.”

     She continued, “Our car went about 18 ft. or 19 ft. so we were close, but it didn’t make it to the 20 ft. It did surprise us that it actually worked.” 

     As for the farthest car, it traveled 34 ft and was engineered by junior Madison Spangler. She was closely  followed by another group with 31.5 ft. As for the shortest distance, the car traveled approximately five ft., with the overall goal being 20 ft. 

     Gorschboth concluded, “It was a very interesting project, because we had no clue what we were doing and friction was a big pain in the booty.”

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