Recently, in Principles of Technology we wrapped-up motion and acceleration with a project involving construction of a small-scale trebuchet made of popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and any other materials that could be secured to defend an assigned army.
We competed in a bracket elimination system. Each team started with their trebuchet and 20 soldiers. Each team took one turn shooting at the other. Any soldiers who are hit were removed from play.
At least 2 soldiers were required to be standing to fire the trebuchet. Students asked during the competition if they could use their “dead” soldiers as ammunition. I agreed and it turned out to be surprisingly effective.
If the trebuchet itself was hit, it was unable to return fire for one round to undergo “repairs”. At least 5 soldiers were required to complete repairs to the trebuchet.
If a team dropped below the minimum number of required soldiers for their next move, they were eliminated.
The students found the entire game very interesting and understood the physics behind all of it.
For a final battle, we broke everyone into 2 large groups and fought against each other in a rapid open-fire exercise.