Central’s Catapult and Trebuchet Project is Model for Other Schools

STRICKLANDS PHYSICS CLASS CATAPULTS THEIR WAY INTO 2ND QUARTER -- Central students build catapults for freshmen physics class.

Shelby Campbell

STRICKLAND’S PHYSICS CLASS CATAPULTS THEIR WAY INTO 2ND QUARTER — Central students build catapults for freshmen physics class.

Josh Sizemore, Staff Writer

Mr. Chip Strickland is teaching his freshman physics students to build abstract catapults and trebuchets. He created this project three years ago because he was enamored by the festival, “Punkin Chunkin”. “Punkin Chunkin” is an event where people from all around the country bring their homemade catapults and trebuchets and throw pumpkins as far as they can to see who can reach the farthest distance.

This year, Strickland was planning to do this project with other schools, but the other schools involved wanted to make the catapults at different times.

“It’s tough to organize an event like that,” stated Mr. Strickland. “It’s a logistics problem.”

In the project, Strickland has different divisions according to the size of the students’ catapults. The classes are mini, small, medium, large, giant, and model. In the model class, students buy a model catapult or trebuchet, but the catch is that they have to modify it in some way.

“From the catapult project, kids can learn to be independent and creative. I know I learned from the experience, and I know other schools will have a good time making them, too,” expressed sophomore Desiree DeLorenzo.

Strickland wants his students to participate in this project so they can learn about Newton’s Three Laws of Motion and the physics of movement.

“I thought the catapult project was very interesting and creative. It gave kids a chance to make their own machines and learn about catapults and what they do,” stated Conner Bales, a former student of Strickland’s.

“I want them to learn to be competitive,” expressed Mr. Strickland. “I want them to feel like they’ve succeeded in something in their lives. Without competition, you won’t be able to perform your best in life.”

Learning can take place through many different avenues, and this inventive project is one such avenue. The Central Digest is glad to have teachers like Mr. Strickland who seek to make their classes educational and interesting at the same time.