Physics students broaden horizons with TEAMS Competition

physics2On Wednesday, Feb. 25, seven McNicholas High School seniors competed at the annual TEAMS competition at the University of Cincinnati, going up against students from other local schools, including Moeller, Mount Notre Dame, Turpin, and Anderson, while further discovering their potential for careers in the field of engineering.

Seniors Micah Diemler, Michael Lake, Gabrielle Latreille, Charlie Lind, John Longbottom, Trevor Lynd, and Brandon Walsh were in attendance at this year’s competition, accompanied by physics teacher Jonathan Spurlock.

Formerly known as JETS, the Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science (TEAMS) Competition takes place across the country at various locations, and allows high school students to apply their knowledge of science and math to solve real-world engineering challenges. This year, the theme of the competition was “The Power of Engineering,” providing students with the chance to solve scenarios that involved the use of biofuel and electricity, as well as nuclear and solar energy.

Lynn, who plans to major in mechanical engineering, enjoyed working with his classmates to solve problems beyond the realm of the classroom.

“It showed me the importance of working together as a team to find solutions to problems,” Lynd said. “We all get stuck and make mistakes and it was an interesting experience to have a whole group working together. We would correct each other’s mistakes and suggest new ideas to solve the problems.”

The competition proved to be a beneficial learning experience for the seniors, many of whom wish to further their education in fields of physics and engineering. For Lake, who plans to study engineering at Ohio University next fall, the day was filled with real-life scenarios that helped him to better understand how the physical sciences apply to the career field.

“The competition was more or less a mix between what I expect real-life application would be and what in-class application is,” Lake said. “We learned about the ways that utilizing physics in the real world can help solve actual problems.”

Longbottom, who plans to study biomedical engineering, believes that the TEAMS conference helped him to better visualize the complexity of the engineering field.

“The competition helped me to understand what engineering is all about.” Longbottom said. “It’s about solving real-world problems using a lot of complex information.”

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