Our fifth graders are learning ancient catapult skills as part of St. Francis University’s “Punkin Chunkin Challenge”. For two weeks in October, our 5th graders will be working with SFU engineering students to design and build their very own miniature trebuchets, capable of launching small pieces of pumpkin candy or candy corn.
Trebuchets are a type of ancient catapult that uses a swinging arm and counterweight to throw a projectile. In olden times trebuchets might have launched heavy stones or buckets of flaming tinder over castle walls.
These days “Punkin Chunkin” has become popular with college students and others, although these folks are usually building really big devices and launching actual pumpkins, not small candy pieces. See background info posted on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumpkin_chucking
DMCA student teams will compete against each other to see whose homemade trebuchets can hurl pumpkin candy the furthest. It’s all in fun, but with a serious purpose. “Chunkin Punkin” is the latest in DMCA’s growing partnership with Saint Francis University to help our youngsters build a strong foundation in science and engineering … in this case by understanding the mechanics behind slingshots, catapults, and centrifugals.
Student teams who triumph during our DMCA Campus competitions will qualify for the Junior Division Chunkin Punkin Competition to be held later this fall at St. Francis University.
Check back here as DMCA STREAM Teacher Mr. Ogline has promised he will send some photos of our fifth grade trebuchet builders at work.
We’ll also post a few pix of the trebuchet competitions scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 11, in the gyms at both East and West Campus. Meanwhile below are pictures of olden time trebuchets (probably built for movies or TV).