Gizmo of the Week: Trebuchet

The summer is wrapping up, but that doesn’t mean fun has to stop. In the Trebuchet Gizmo, students modify the design of a medieval siege engine with the goal of throwing a boulder to knock down a castle wall. Students adjust parameters including the payload, fulcrum height, arm length, and sling length. Three challenges are provided that require different solutions.

In addition to the engineering challenges, the Trebuchet Gizmo provides an introduction to physics concepts like potential and kinetic energy, air resistance, and efficiency. The Gizmo is appropriate for middle-school students and a great introduction to simple machines and projectile motion for high-school physics students.

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