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Weber students among top ‘safe crackers’ in world

A team from The Weber School posted impressive results in an international safe-cracking contest in Israel, designed to test how well students apply their knowledge of physics. The Weber team placed fifth overall, out of over 100 schools internationally, and was the top U.S. team, in The Weizmann Institute’s International Safe-Cracking Tournament. Weber also had the favorite safe as rated by the student participants. Weber participants included Eric Lieberman, Levi Durham, Becky Arbiv, Justin Cobb and Ross Williams, and faculty advisers Spencer Roby and Sairina Merino Tsui. This competition challenges teams of high school juniors and seniors to design impenetrable safes. Over six months, each team builds a locking mechanism for a standard wooden box, based on the laws of physics. Teams are encouraged to get creative with their designs, adding anything from lasers to water, string, ping pong balls, and other objects to make the locking device “uncrackable.”Each spring the students then travel to the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel, for the final round of the tournament, in which teams compete to unlock one another’s safes by solving the underlying physics riddles. Judges from Weizmann’s Davidson Institute of Science Education score each team based on the originality of the physics concept, how the concept was applied, and the endurance of the safe against break-ins.

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