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This is a design challenge based on engineering principles where students create and improve their own trebuchet to launch a weighted object to a target. An understanding of forces and levers is developed to successfully complete the task.
After completing this design challenge, students will understand:
- Elements of the iterative design process
- How to build a trebuchet and the components involved
- Levers and why they are useful
- Lesson plan
- Student worksheet
Additional resources required:
- Optional: Digital access to Medieval Levers on Wonderville.org
- A marked target on the ground (can be created with a sheet of paper, a taped “x”, other)
- A consistent weight for students to launch (e.g., golf ball or beanbag)
- Scissors (one pair per group of 3-4 students)
- Tape (preferably duct tape or heavy packing tape, one roll per group of 3-4 students)
- A variety of materials for students to build their trebuchet with (at teacher’s discretion/choice). Examples: cardboard sheets, empty paper towel rolls, string, straws, styrofoam plates, plasticine or play-dough, wooden skewers.