Physics Returns to Granville With Fresh Energy

If a student throws a ball vertically upward with an initial velocity of 20 meters per second, how long does it take to reach its maximum height? What is the maximum height the ball reaches? Give up? The 18 students in Mr. Condon's physics class can give you the answer! 

After a three-year absence, physics has returned to our high school's curriculum. The reintroduction of the physics class comes as a result of the school's dedication to offering a comprehensive and well-rounded education.

"We are so glad to offer this class to Granville students because it lays the groundwork for numerous STEM careers, and it fosters a lifelong curiosity about how the universe works," said Interim Jr/Sr High School Principal Beecher Baker. 

Inspiring Future Scientists

By offering physics, the school aims to inspire a new generation of scientists, engineers, and innovators. 

Senior Victoria Willson is taking physics because she wants to study pharmacology and eventually become a pharmacist. 

"Taking physics now will help me in college. I want to be involved with the experiments and the development of different treatments that can help people," she said. 

Gabriel St. Martin, also a senior, was glad to see physics offered since he had taken all the other science classes available at Granville. He hopes to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida and pursue an aerospace or mechanical engineering career.

In his free time, Gabriel is applying the knowledge he gained in physics to restore an old Cadillac. Things like repairing the electrical systems, optimizing combustion, and addressing issues related to noise and vibrations are all based on principles of physics.

A Dynamic Physics Teacher

Part of the class' success is its teacher, Mr. Caleb Condon. His enthusiasm for the subject is infectious, and his approach to teaching makes physics accessible and exciting for all his students.

"I am student-centered and very hands-on. We get experience with the actual concept before I even go into teaching it. It's experience first, formulate later. Today, my class is getting experience with vectors, which have both magnitude and direction. They do the lab first, and then tomorrow we will go over it, and I will be able to answer any questions they have," said Mr. Condon. 

Junior Evan Norton said his guidance counselor recommended the class because he thought he would like Mr. Condon. 

"His teaching style helps us stay interested,” Evan said. “And he's young, so he can relate to us and joke around with us." 

This is Mr. Condon's first full-time teaching job. He has a Bachelor's degree in mathematics from Castleton and is working towards his Master’s degree in teaching and mathematics education through Western Governors University. He originally thought he wanted to be an engineer, but then Granville called. 

"I wasn't sure if this was what I wanted to do, but I am loving it! My favorite part of teaching is having the ability to make the connection between the calculation and the real world and allowing students to experiment with the various phenomena."

Football and Physics 

When he's not in school, you will find Mr. Condon on the football field! He is the quarterback of the semi-pro football team, the Glens Falls GreenJackets, who just won the NEFL Championship!

"I love playing football because it gives an ultimate form of competition. Playing and performing at the top of your game for your teammates and coaches is like nothing else. Being able to prove to yourself that you can do what you believe is possible is the ultimate test, and striving for perfection in every drill, game, and workout. This form of competition can be stressful but has become my oasis over the years."

And even though they seem like they don't go together, Mr. Condon says physics plays a big part in the game. 

"Physics is everywhere, especially with my position. I need to consider the wind, with the ball drifting and fading depending on the conditions. And physics also plays a role in the design of safety equipment, such as helmets and padding. Understanding how forces are transmitted during collisions helps in designing equipment that can reduce the risk of injury."

Exploring Fundamentals and Beyond

Mr. Condon’s physics class will delve into essential concepts such as forces and Newton's laws, energy, electricity and magnetism, waves, and momentum. Mr. Condon's plans for the year also include a lot of interactive labs, including an egg drop experiment. 

"We are going to be doing the egg drop challenge but taking it a step further when we cover impulse. It will give students an idea of how airbags work."

With physics back in the curriculum, Granville is preparing students for a rapidly changing world and inspiring the next generation of curious minds and innovative thinkers.