Physics of Fencing Competition at Royal Holloway
On Wednesday 16th November Jack Cooper, Louise McLoughlin, Jordan Newton, Harry Palmer and Ryan Williams walked up Egham Hill to the lavish surroundings of the Royal Holloway College picture gallery for a day about the Physics of Fencing. This was one of series of events around the country celebrating the Olympics. The day started with an exciting demonstration of fencing by two young Olympic hopefuls. The teams of students from ten different schools and colleges then had two challenges to complete – firstly to construct an epee (a fencing foil) such that a light bulb is lit when the foil makes contact with a body. Strode’s students were the first to finish this task successfully. Then the teams were given samples of various metals and had to carry out measurements and experiments to try to find which materials would make the best foil. They were to be judged on their teamwork as well as physics and presentation skills. During the day each group of students went off for a fencing taster sessions. The coach took them through a set of warm –up activities and then on to try out their skills with a sword (plastic!). Fencing competitors must be aggressive as well as skilful – Louise even managed to make her opponent fall over – the losers of each bout had to do press-ups!
Strode’s students faced strong competition from teams coming from the whole of the south-east and despite a very competitive performance had to settle for coming a very commendable close second. Everyone had a very enjoyable and productive day and our students did themselves proud.