Jacob Dykes took a tremendous bounce off the trampoline and launched himself at a bundle of bungee cords dangling from the ceiling. Swinging, the sophomore caught hold of a nunchaku dangling from the ceiling and then dropped into a pit of foam blocks.
All in the name of science, of course.
On April 28, an engineering class from Hilliard Davidson High School visited Movement Lab Ohio in north Columbus to find out if its projects were "ninja-worthy."
This is the eighth year that Bill Kuch has taught the Introduction to Engineering Design class, and he said he tries to incorporate a real-world project every year.
Last year, he took students to play laser tag. Then the lights were flipped on for them to get a good look at the tag arena. They used that information to engineer an alternative course.
Another year, they designed holiday ornaments for parents to purchase and gave the money to charity.
How the class ended up at Movement Lab Ohio last month was a bit of a fluke.
Kuch just happened to be listening to the car radio one day months ago when he heard an ad for "American Ninja Warrior," the popular obstacle-course competition on NBC. It called on the public to design obstacles that might be used on the show.
"I said, 'Ooh, our students can totally do that,' " Kuch said.
The students worked in groups on computer-aided design and drafting plans, engineering both an existing "Ninja" obstacle and one they invented.
Then came another turn of luck a few weeks ago.
"Ironically enough, I was in Costco for the first time ever, and the person standing in front of me in line was Michelle Warnky," Kuch said.
Warnky is well-known to fans as a competitor for the past three seasons. She owns Movement Lab Ohio, a Ninja Warrior training facility on Lazelle Road.
The gym sees plenty of student groups, but never to try out engineering concepts.
"Not this kind of project," Warnky said. "That's a cool twist."
Davidson has a few more ties to the show.
Kuch teaches calculus to senior Sarah Teater, who took second place nationwide in February in a National Ninja League competition. Teater came along on the April 28 visit.
Movement Lab instructor Sean Noel is a 2014 Davidson graduate, and he was there to give feedback, too.
Noel will be among six or seven people from Movement Lab Ohio, including Warnky, who will go to Cleveland May 8 and 9 to participate in a taping there.
The students said they like this application of learning to real life.
"It's fun to be able to do different things," 15-year-old Katherine Sarkel said after running most of the way up the Warped Wall.
Though only a freshman, she's thought about a career in aeronautical engineering.
"Everything has to be designed," she said.
After the students played for a while, they settled down to business in a conference room, explaining their plans to the ninja experts.
Warnky and her staff made suggestions: move components farther apart, lower this, angle that, take out this trampoline and put in a water pit.
At one point, Warnky took a group back into the gym to replicate their plan with her equipment. She and some of the students established that having competitors jump 3 feet from a balance beam down to a rolling log was expecting too much.
"Are you allowed to completely skip this obstacle?" she asked.
If there isn't an explicit rule, some competitors will jump over or around an obstacle -- something they hadn't considered, she said.
With the rolling logs, "How tight would you guys make it?" she asked.
Through trial and error, they tweaked it and made it workable.
The class next will consider the suggestions they heard and make changes before making their final presentation this week.