Physical World Concepts Students Launch Annual Catapults

AIM & FIRE -- Freshman Colt Davidson stand tall by his catapult in the Giant Category.

Jacob Johns

AIM & FIRE — Freshman Colt Davidson stand tall by his catapult in the “Giant” Category.

Jacob Johns, Business Manager

Every year, classes across Central High plan out projects and events that make their students ecstatic about learning. One of these classes is Physical World Concepts, taught by Mr. Strickland.

Mr. Strickland conducts a project for his students, in which they must construct a catapult to certain standards to try and achieve a great distance.

A catapult is a device in which accumulated tension is suddenly released to hurl an object some distance.  These were used during medieval times as weapons.

“The purpose of the project is to create a device that applies Newton’s Laws of Motion and mathematical principles of projectile motion.” explained Mr. Strickland, “The students create catapults  to explore the medieval history of weaponry that once ruled the western world.

“The most stressful part for students is creating a catapult that actually fires a projectile,” shared Mr. Strickland.

The best part of this project, after putting all of the math and physical effort into building them, is to actually fire them. Students from the class go down to Central’s football stadium and launch their catapults from the top of the stadium. The small catapults launch marbles, the medium and large catapults launch golf balls, and the giant catapults launch softballs and smoke bombs

“The best part of the project was finally getting to get out of class to go watch them fire,” stated Jada Lowry, a freshman taking Strickland’s class,” I also enjoy the competition that everyone has with each other.”

While these students are building these catapults and launching them, most do not know that they are gaining knowledge about physics. What they will realize later is that this information will come to help them succeed in other way throughout the science field.