Stickies & Catapults: Just Another Day in Science Class

November 22, 2019 by Maeve Ryan

Recently, the windows of Jesser have been covered with brightly colored stickies. Not only is it a good way to draw attention to our science building on a cloudy day, it's also the result of a recent computer science project. Students in the Computer Science Principals class learned about a lossless image compression technique called Run-Length Encoding (RLE for short). A lossless image compression is where the original image can be perfectly reconstructed from the compressed data, stored as a string of bits in the form of 0s and 1s. This project was in color (as opposed to black and white), so each row of data had two sets of numbers to tell you the color and how many pixels (the run length) that color consists of in a row. Students used their new RLE skills to make an image on a 16x16 pixel grid, then write the code needed to transfer the image in the correct format. 

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On Friday, November 22, students in the Introductory Physics class had a chance to get out their pre-Thanksgiving vacation energy by using handmade catapults to knock over their opponents' "castle" (made out of paper and plastic cups). The  project-based activity served a fun finale to their lesson on projectile motion,  ballistics, inertia, and acceleration. 

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Written by Maeve Ryan

Filed Under: Science, physics, science is fun