A trebuchet is a type of catapult that uses the energy of a raised counterweight to throw the projectile. As part of their history class on the Middle Ages, Mrs Lisa Smith’s Year 8 students at Cornerstone Christian College have been working in teams to create their very own designs, with testing taking place at the College today.
Students worked in pairs to research, design, create a book explaining the science behind their trebuchet, manufacture their trebuchet with a standard set of materials, then test to see whose design worked best. For the testing phase, a row of the eraser throwing implements were lined up in the centre quadrangle of the school and taken through their paces.
According to Mrs Smith it was a great class activity.
‘The trebuchet activity was designed to be a problem-solving activity. Students were given a limited amount of materials with which to work, and were required to make a small model of a functioning trebuchet. The groups worked together very well, with some experiencing more success than others!’ she said.
The designs generally had a small box to contain the eraser projectile, which was placed at the end of a beam with a counterweight working at the other end to cause the beam to swing. The stored energy of the counterweight is transferred efficiently to the projectile (in most cases!).
A great fun way to develop team work, look at the scientific principles at play, as well as produce some creative and original masterpieces.