Teaching and Learning: Physics



Physics, Design and Social Justice

In this project, students seek to develop a physics-based solution to a local, regional, national or international social justice problem.  Using the Columbia Business School’s The Designing for Growth Field Book as a guide, students research their issues, design a prototype and present their ideas to a panel of venture capitalists and designers.  Projects over the past three years have included the Teddy Text, AquafyKenya, PlayWater and the Disposa-Cozy.



The first standardized minigolf courses to enter commercial mass production were the Thistle Thu (This’ll Do) course, opened in 1916 in Pinehurst, North Carolina.  The game was revolutionized by Thomas McCulloch Fairburn in 1922 with his formulation of a suitable artificial green – a mixture of cottonseed hulls, sand, oil, and dye.  With this discovery, miniature golf courses became accessible everywhere. By the late 1920s, there were over 150 rooftop courses in New York City alone, and tens of thousands across the United States.  This American minigolf boom of the early 20th century came to an end during the economic depression of the late 1930s. National Miniature Golf Day is celebrated in the United States on the second Saturday in May.  In this final project for Honors Physics, students, working in groups, design and construct one hole for the Marymount miniature golf course: ThunderGolf!