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Physics students go all out on model houses


August 25. 2013 5:05AM
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LIMA — For a senior in high school, Zach Long and his buddies have a pretty nice pad.



A chandelier in the living room, disco ball in the bedroom, bar lights in the kitchen, and a lighted swimming pool and sand volleyball court outside.



Not bad, but the “coolest” room in the Temple Christian School physics students’ model-scale house is the bathroom, specifically a running shower. No other house has one.



“We just kept adding stuff and adding stuff,” Zach said. “Our theory was go big or go home.”



While the shower drew the most attention, teacher Mark Coulter is most impressed with the wiring. After all, that’s what the project was all about.



The student groups of three or four had to build at least a four-room house wired three different ways, including with a combination circuit, the most difficult. It involved at least one light with two switches.



“Instead of just fully focusing on the equations and the concepts, it is the application,” Coulter said of the project. “There is no better way to learn it than to really practice it and make it applicable. It’s really basic electrical engineering.”



While they worked long hours on the project, including outside school, students had lots of fun too. An action figure, made to look like Coulter, lounged inside one room of Long’s house. A “family” photo of one group hung in the living room of one house.



Using tongue depressors, Junior Loren Crawford’s group went with a log cabin look. Two bed rooms, one decorated for a boy complete with a “Lady Luck” poster, and the other for a girl, each had working ceiling fans. Loren’s favorite room is the kitchen.



“All the furniture is relatively matching and with the parallel circuit, it’s the brightest room,” she said.



The juniors and seniors also kept journals, drew schematic designs, and wrote reflective summaries of why they wired the way they did.



Loren is interested in architecture, so was especially excited about the project.



“We could just have a quiz and draw a parallel circuit,” she said. “But it was cool to be able to make one for yourself, and know that I’m a junior in high school and know three basic wirings that are in houses all over.”






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