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Behind the scenes of ‘Mobile Mania’

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Behind the scenes of ‘Mobile Mania’

Sydney Cianciola and Anna Kan

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Mr. Hlaudy’s “Mobile Mania” has been a physics tradition here at Canfield High School for 25 years. All students and staff can make their way down to the physics room to check out the twenty-some mobiles strung up around the room. Anyone is able to vote for mobiles under the 5 different categories, prettiest, ugliest, funniest, most creative, and best-of-show.

Mr. Hlaudy has been through countless mobile manias, and was able to shed some insight into the behind the scenes work put into pulling off mobile mania each year. He explained that Mobile Mania is essentially a lab, yet also a show. Mr. Hlaudy described the physics the students must know before beginning creating the mobiles, “For the lab part, the kids need all of the build-up information, the groundwork, so that they can build the mobile, and that’s you know, how does equilibrium work from the standpoint of forces balancing and from the standpoint of torques balancing, so they can do the math. I need to make sure they can prove it, that they can do the math, and understand the words and the concepts.” He then continued on to explain the second part, the “show” part, “the room has to be prepped for a thousand people to walk through it, we have to take desks out of the room, to create an aisle-way for the voters to walk through, we take the ceiling tiles out, we take everything on the tables and counters out, chairs, it has to be an environment where people can walk through without obstruction, and showcase the mobiles.” Mr. Hlaudy clarified that it takes week to prep for mobiles because, “they’ve got to have piece A before they can do piece B, before they can do piece C, before they can understand what equilibrium is. I keep feeding them little pieces then every week or so I say ‘here’s how they all go together.’” He has seen any theme you could think of throughout his years doing mobile mania, but his top three picks this year were, the “Weight of College”, “Petal to the Metal”, and “Canfield Cripples” mobiles.

This years best of show winner was the mobile titled the “rainbow room”, which was created by Hannah Keffler, Claire Berlin, and Victoria Messuri. They put in long hours in order to complete the extravagant mobile, “We spent probably about 40 hours total, and stayed after school two days in a row, after school until about 9 o’clock.” Keffler stated. They revealed how easily they came up with their idea, “Hlaudy was talking about just doing something really big that would get attention, so I figured maybe like prisms with light, would really get people to look at the mobile because it’s pretty because the rainbows would be reflecting around the room, and people would see it.” said Messuri. Before making their mobile, they had to do several things in order to prepare, “that friday night Claire and I went back to the school and we measured the height of the ceiling, then we started building the room on the Monday after that, and started painting it, then we built our actual mobile in it throughout the next week.” Their mobile won the awards of “best of show” and “most creative”.

Another group who participated in mobile mania was Halle Schneider and Mason Burbick with the “Movie Mobile”. Schneider touched on the time it took them to make and balance their mobile, “We worked two hours on Monday and Tuesday night, then we came in at 6:30 AM on Monday to set up our mobile in school.” They did have some complications with their idea, since originally they were thinking of doing a “Do it Yourself” mobile by hanging plates, but some ended up breaking, so they had to switch ideas. “We hadn’t originally planned on doing the movies idea, but since our other mobile didn’t end up working out, Mason came up with this idea and it ended up turning out pretty good.” Schneider explained. They used PVC pipes for rods and ribbon as their line. The “Movie Mobile” ended up tying in third place for “Best of Show”.

With the competition involved many groups take different approaches and put different amounts of effort into their presentation. Each student in the school gets to experience the fun and hard work of the physics students while choosing their favorite setups. Along with the students at Canfield High School, Mr. Hlaudy gets to see how his teaching comes to life in the mobiles his students make.

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About the Writers
Sydney Cianciola, Senior Contributor

Sydney Cianciola is not only an astounding student at Canfield High School but a hard working, dedicated, and persevering young athlete.


Anna Kan, Sophomore Contributor

Being a high school student can mean a lot to many students for many different reasons. For some, high school is about homework, tests, and notes, to others...

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Behind the scenes of ‘Mobile Mania’