Air cannon helping blast WO to state

Air cannon helping blast WO to state

Ethan Israels

The glimmer of the bright LED lights reflected off the GVSU blue tarp. “Firing in 3-2-1…. Thu Wump!” The golf ball shot out of the gun and traveled in a perfect arc. With a tap, it hits just inches away from the intended X on the Air Trajectory map. Hours of practice, trial, and preparation has paid off. Success.

  Air Trajectory is one of the most captivating events for WOSO spectators and competitors. While every event is interesting in its own right, Air Trajectory is especially interesting to WOSO team member and Air Trajectory competitor Sr. Ben Hahn. “It’s the ability to use air… because we think of air and it’s difficult to control… but it’s interesting in the fact that we’re able to make it consistent,” Hahn said. He also said that the ability to do this through an engineering aspect is very satisfying. “ It’s always nice to see ‘Hey I got it there!’ The little X’s on the floor and you just have got to hit that X, and you go like ‘hey I can do this,’” Hahn said.

  All of this hard work is paying dividends for Ben Hahn and his sister/teammate Aleah Hahn. As a team in Air Trajectory, they took 1st place at the Regional meet. While the Air Trajectory team had success this year, this has become the norm. For the past several seasons WO has enjoyed continued success in their technology events. Along with the win in Air Trajectory, WO also won Bridge Building and Electric Vehicle.

  Backed by the strong performances in the tech events, WO is looking for a big finish to the 2015-16 season. “Our region sends six teams over to state, and then at state two teams go to the national tournament. It has been a couple years since we made the national tournament. This year’s team is one of those teams that we really think can make it to nationals with. We got third at regionals, but we were super close to both second and first. So, we can easily jump them and head up,” Hahn said.

  While competing well is obviously a goal of the WOSO team and Head Coach  Bob Meyers, the knowledge gained from preparing for and competing in events is foremost. “ It allows you to nurture yourself because you can learn what you want to learn. We have all kinds of different scientific avenues, we even have robotics… It’s like hey if you’re interested in anything scientific you get to study that… and you can nurture that passion into… what you want to learn about and that’s enjoyable,” Hahn said.

  WOSO meets throughout the school year after school in Myers’ room in the South. While they meet throughout the school year, the bulk of the season is during the winter with the Regional, State, and National competitions coming in March and April.

  West Ottawa’s Science Olympiad crew looks to Air Trajectory and their tech events as they compete to extend their season on April 30 at Michigan State University in the State Tournament with a chance to punch their ticket to nationals. This year, the national tournament will be held in Menomonie, Wisconsin at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Come support the Panthers as they continue their quest for history.

WOSO Air Trajectory in Competition at GVSU