Trebuchets, better known as a form of catapult in the medieval days, were used as weapons to blast down enemy castle walls during battle by hurling heavy objects at them with a great slinging force.
Here at the Lewis and Clark Community College, it’s still a battle of the best, but a friendlier one of all sorts.
On March 28 at 9 a.m., instead of a military infantry aiming for castle walls, high school teams of four to five battle for points in a competition against other high school students from the surrounding area. This year there are 12 high schools participating in the event.
Bunker Hill High School physics students, sponsored by Jay Goltz, Physics Teacher, have been putting their skill to the test since mid January. There are four students in the class and they are building and taking a total of 3 trebuchets.
“It’s pretty interesting to see how far it fires off, I was definitely not expecting that,” said Gavin Shaw, a Bunker Hill High School senior.
The students have been spending quality class time in preparation researching, drawing up designs, building, and testing their trebuchets. They are anxiously awaiting putting their hard work into motion on the battlefield.
The teams will pair off, shooting balls into five gallon buckets, or targets. They will also have the opportunity to knock out the opposing trebuchet by making their balls into smaller targets, which are worth more points.
There are $3000 awarded in cash prizes to the first through third place winners in three different categories including the battle, the design, and the drawing.
There is also a trophy awarded for the overall winner of the entire competition which will go by rankings after all categories have been judged.
Each team was supplied $100 cash from the school upon registration to the event for use of materials to create their trebuchet. They then teamed up in the designing and building of their trebuchet.
The event is funded by L&C, and the National Science Foundation.
Kevin Bodden, Professor of Mathematics has been the event coordinator for the last seven years.
This event is set up to enlighten students on the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) fields that Lewis and Clark, and other colleges have to offer.
There will be tables set up at the event with information on programs that L&C has in this field, as well as tables from other colleges that offer STEAM-related career programs.
The event will be taking place in River Bend Arena, here at the Godfrey campus.
Volunteers are needed to make this event happen! “We are asking faculty predominantly but we are also looking for upper level engineering and calculus students,” said Molly Freimuth, the volunteer coordinator for the trebuchet event.
“Students who are interested in volunteering but aren’t in those programs should feel free to contact me as well,” Freimuth said.