The Catapult Contest
Run for your lives...!

  
     Welcome Visigoths, Huns and noble Barbarians!

     The annual Catapult Contest is for many the realization of a dream come true...designing, building and operating your very own siege machine.  No, this is not an advertisement for Capital One or a promotion for Game of Thrones but a unique interdisciplinary project which will challenge even the most civilized  student's research, design and engineering skills.  This project draws valuable input from a variety of course disciplines such as math, technology, world history, and physics to name but a few.  The contest begins with an in depth exploration into the origins of the simple and compound machine, wheels, pulleys, levers etc. and culiminating in the design and construction of a functional weapon of mass disruption- aka a medieval siege machine.

     Students are broken into teams and assigned the task of choosing one of three catapult designs which include the mongonel, the trebuechet and the ballista.  Each of these weapons represent a plethora of physical science concepts and have proven to be most effective throught the Middle Ages.  After a selection is made, students will design their machine using Sketchup, or freehand and provide size specifications and dimensions.  Next, each team will determine their material requirements, the cost and what tools will be needed.  This is an important consideration and students should also keep in mind that construction of their siege machine will take place after school, during the weekend or whenever team members can coordinate time to design and build. 



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