July 20, 2024
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MTA AP Physics Class Journeys to the Top of the GWB

MTA’s AP Physics class has spent the last several weeks on “statics,” the study of loads and equilibrium. A good example of statics in real life is a suspension bridge, and an excellent model is the George Washington Bridge, the most heavily trafficked motor vehicle bridge in the world, and a frequent factor in the lives of many MTA students who hail from across the tri-state area.

On Monday, October 27th, MTA’s AP physics class made its annual trip to the top of the George Washington Bridge to learn about the application of the concepts they study in class. They were accompanied by Dr. Edward Berliner, their Physics teacher, as well as Rabbi Michael Taubes, their Rosh Yeshiva, and Rav Hershel Schachter, one of the Roshei Yeshiva of RIETS.

As Dr. Edward Berliner put it, “The visit to the Bridge was truly the culmination of our study of statics. What I had hoped to reinforce was that given a body of knowledge and a team of talented and motivated people, great and lasting public works and monuments can be created for the good of mankind.” The boys’ study was certainly well-rewarded.

The students met with Andrea Giorgi Bocker, the chief engineer responsible for overseeing the bridge, as well as several other key parts of the New York City infrastructure. She explained to the group the incredible strength of the suspension cables and anchorage, and then brought the boys to the top of one of the southern, Jersey-side towers to appreciate the spectacular views and the sheer scale of this marvel of engineering.

From the top of the tower, the boys had a truly breathtaking view of all of Manhattan, stretching from the leafy oasis of Fort Tryon Park down to the spire of the gleaming One World Trade Center. And yes, one could even see the mint-colored dome of MTA poking up from Washington Heights. In the words of one awed student, “I feel like I’m on top of the world!”

By Yair Gross (YUHSB ’16)

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