STEM Activity day builds machines

Tackling the terrible trebuchet!

A scientific challenge faced Year 8 students as they worked with engineers from charity EDT First Edition to design and build a trebuchet.

The lessons aimed to inspire students with the possibilities available in science and engineering.

So what is a trebuchet? It is a form of catapult, first used as early as the 4th century in China. They would have been used to throw a heavy projectile when armies were besieging cities.

Together with the history, students learned the engineering principles behind throwing such heavy items and how this could be used today. Isaac Newton’s second law put into practice – the relationship between force, mass and acceleration.

The students were encouraged to consider the length of the arm, the shape of the projectile, where the pivot should be and how high from the ground it required. A variety of creative designs appeared. When the time came to test the machines some were a success and others misfired.

Judged on appearance, distance thrown, the use of a trigger and a weight, two teams of winners emerged from the two sessions. Congratulations to Jacob, Sameer, Will and Cameron in the early group, and Faiyaz, Sumaya, Tahir and Samiyah in the later session.

20 February 2018

launching the trebuchet

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