In a satirical, humorous, not-actually-real article, Watley Review profiles a teacher who specializes in applied physics, John Gaston.
A typical Gaston exam question involves asking students to choose between catching a small metal box filled with 20 pounds of lead dropped from a height of 1 foot, or the same metal box stuffed with 20 pounds of feathers dropped from the roof of an 8-story building. Each year, about five students try to catch the feather-filled box and end up in the emergency room with concussions.
“I still think it was a trick,” glowered Marvin Stoddmeyer, a student who chose the feathers and failed the final exam, breaking his collarbone in the process. “Gaston said something about momentum and kinetic versus potential energy or something during the year – yadda yadda yadda. But at no point did he specifically warn us not to try to catch a 20 pound object dropped from an 8-story building. That’s deception, man.”
Students are guaranteed an A, without having to attend classes or take exams, if they create a perpetual motion device by the last day of the school year.