Talk about your cold, hard facts.
Sophomore physics students from Columbia High School got a hands-on lesson in large-scale refrigeration as well as acceleration this morning at the Essex County Codey Arena in West Orange as they visited the ice rink and one of its refrigeration units.
County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. was on hand to greet the students as well as South Orange-Maplewood Superintendent of Schools Brian Osborne for this new initiative. Teachers from the South Orange-Maplewood School District and Arena staff have developed a physics curriculum using the facility, its ice surfaces and the Zamboni to teach physics principles such as heating and cooling, friction and energy.
District Science Supervisor for Grades 6-12 Alan Levin said that this program grew out of the summer "Physics Step Up" program developed by him and Columbia High School physics teacher. Physics Step Up is a 3-week summer program designed to take Level 3 physics students and move them into Honors Physics by reinforcing math skills, utilizing lab work and taking field trips.
One field trip was to a bowling alley, where students discussed and observed velocity, acceleration, mass, momentum and "all the collisions and the forces involved" in toppling the pins, said Levin.
As Tumolillo and Codey Arena Senior Engineer Yvon Cormier explained the piping system that pumps freon below the floor surface in the arena while the Zamboni cleans, sweeps and cuts the ice above and pours on 75 gallons of near-boiling water, School District Chief Information Officer Paul Roth was itching to get out on the ice.
"My second job after retiring is going to be working at an ice rink," said Roth, who coaches 8-14 year olds at the Skylands Ice World in Sussex County. Roth's skill on the ice was obvious as he flitted about and slapped a number of shots into the goal for Tumolillo to measure the speed with a radar gun.
Superintendent of Schools Brian Osborne was no slouch on ice either. He even brought his own skates. When ask to perform a triple Salchow, Osborne demurred: "This is it. What you see is what you get." Nonetheless, in a picture reminiscent of a mother duck being followed by her ducklings, Osborne led a group of tentative high schoolers around the edge of the rink and helped them gather near the goal for the physics experience.
Now, that's leadership.