The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

Hudson Woods throws his arms out after a play before getting into position
Hudson Woods climbs to new heights after standout sophomore season
Jonathan Jones, Sports Writer • May 18, 2024
Joshua Velasquez committed to serving his country in the U.S. Army.
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Margaret Edmonson, Adviser • May 17, 2024
Sydney Rakowitz will study education and training and music at the University of Incarnate Word.
Seniors sign to continue athletic, non-athletic careers
Valley Ventana, Staff • May 16, 2024
Boy Scouts of America announced on May 7 the organizations name will change to Scouting America on the organizations 115th birthday Feb. 8, 2025. Photo by JV via
Boy Scouts changing name after 115 years
Grayson Cook, Staff writer • May 15, 2024
The top 15 students in the senior class receive special recognition at graduation on May 22 due to their hard work throughout high school. 
Graphic by Alex Whelchel via Canva
Profile: Top 15 seniors
Alex Whelchel, Managing Editor • May 13, 2024

Staying afloat: Physics classes complete annual boat racing project

The physics classes completed their annual boat races, where students have to build their own boats and ride in them across the pool, Tuesday. 

Students have to construct their own boat out of cardboard, and they can only use duct tape and trash bags to hold it together.

“We incorporate our fluids, so things like buoyant force, that we teach students, so they get to actually do what we are learning,” physics teacher Krystal Rios said. “It’s more fun than making mini boats because students actually get to go in their boats.”

Rios believes it is important to have hands-on experiences in the classroom like this.

“It makes physics much more engaging, and the students get to see it in action,” Rios said. “If something does go wrong, the students can see what they could have done physics wise to make it better.”

For junior Aidan Kellner, the bulk of the project was planning and calculating how they would construct their boat.

“We sat for a long time just doing the planning, and then once we got the ball rolling, it just sped up and we were done in a couple of hours,” Kellner said.

For junior Lily Haider, the boat building process did not come as easily.

“We kind of just bought a bunch of cardboard and taped it together and said ‘this is going to be our boat,’ but that didn’t really work out,” Haider said. “We had to backtrack and cut half our boat off and reinforce everything because it was too big. It was very stressful.”

Haider’s group successfully made it across the pool with their cow themed boat. Other groups incorporated themes or props, including juniors Zach Niles and Braeden Wills who wore matching hats and child arm floaties.

“Braeden’s mom gave us our floatation devices, and we had the chinese hats from Disney,” Niles said. “It enhanced our boat because it created high energy among our group.”

For junior Bridget George, floating across the pool was a stressful experience.

“I had like a huge adrenaline rush,” George said. “I couldn’t really feel or see or think anything.”

Although the experience was worrying, students, such as Haider, are happy to be done with the project.

“It was like a 50 pound weight was lifted off my chest,” Haider said. “I was like ‘I’ve done this; I have one thing off my checklist.’ It was nice to finally get it done and be successful at it.”

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