State Champions - MFL MarMac physics students win state catapult title

Summer and Hannah Schutte show off the catapult that they used to win their category of the Iowa State Physics Competition at the University of Northern Iowa last Tuesday. (Contributed photo)

   CEDAR FALLS — A pair of MFL MarMac seniors came home with special awards from the State of Iowa Physics Competition last week. Sisters Hannah and Summer Schutte placed first in the state in the Catapult Division of the state competition, leading their team to third place in the competition.

   The Schuttes and the rest of MFL MarMac’s physics team earned the right to compete at State by winning the regional competition that MFL MarMac hosted March 19. It was just the second MFL MarMac physics team to qualify for the state competition and the first in 10 years. The catapult, which is a student-built device designed to launch ping pong balls at targets at various distances, was one of three events that the MFL MarMac team won at the regional. Yet Summer said she and her sister knew their device could be even better than the one that won the regional.

   “We know our catapult was looking pretty good, and then we perfected it over the weeks that we had break,” she said. “And then at State we were looking at other catapults during the warmup and we were kind of scared of the competition because they looked really good.”

   The MFL MarMac duo won by a mere half centimeter over second-place Ogden, though they were unaware of how close the two teams were until they received results.

   Hannah said she and her sister’s catapult differed from many of the others in the competition because it features a bow mechanism trigger for the release.

   “We were more accurate with our slingshot area just because we weren’t pulling it back ourselves, we had something to release it which was, honestly, I think a benefit to us,” she said.


For more of this story see the April 17 Outlook.