Students merged engineering and history lessons for spring flings

Photo of John Badman

GODFREY —  Lewis and Clark Community College students competed in spring flings Friday in the 16th Annual Trebuchet Competition in the Riverbend Arena in Godfrey.

Teams of students from different schools, following a set of construction guidelines, created their own trebuchets to throw a soft squash ball in the competition. The goal was to put the squash ball into an empty bucket 30 feet away.

The trebuchet was a medieval catapult with a long arm that uses the mechanical advantage of a lever to throw a projectile. The catapult was used as a siege weapon and was common in the 1230s before the invention of gun powder.

In Friday’s competition teams were not allowed pulleys or ball bearings and used a counterweight that was up to four unopened cans of soda, any brand. While there were other specifications for construction, different teams had variations in their designs and choice of materials.