To understand the physics of how a trebuchet works, students first explored how simple levers help make our workload easier. They watched how trebuchets were constructed and used to knock down the walls of a castle (exciting stuff!).
Students worked in groups of three with the help of trebuchet expert Quill Goldman to construct their trebuchets using recycled materials. Once constructed they spent an afternoon on the playing field firing the trebuchet using different formulas with the aim to achieve the longest distance. This was done by changing the length of the lever arm, changing the length of the sling, increasing or decreasing the weight-load on the trebuchet, or changing the weight of the object being thrown. Each throw was measured and logged, and after two hours of fine tuning, each team attempted to repeat their longest throw.
The winning teams were awarded a certificate “medieval style” which was nailed to the castle walls for all to see!
This project encouraged teamwork, critical thinking and how to construct something using recycled materials. Students were engaged and inspired to build more simple machines.