KS3 Catapult Day

“It was a wonderful logical puzzle, a team building exercise, a science, history and maths project and even sports competition all rolled into one, and next time we would certainly allocate more time to it so that each aspect could be explored more fully.

We have just finished a week of statistical analysis, so as the main follow-up to the Roman Siege Weapon workshop comes to an end (although I shall be using their data again for their exams at the end of term!) it seems like a good time to write and say how much we enjoyed the experience and how useful it was on so many levels.”

Hugh Farey, St Richard’s School, Bromyard

The ‘Roman Day’ is easily adapted for KS3 students.  During this day, the students must problem solve how to build a Roman Onagar catapult and a mediaeval trebuchet catapult. From one collection of pieces, the students must build two non-interchangeable catapults.

Following this the students do a series of PROPER SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTS to discover optimum firing settings.

During the afternoon, the students utilise these setting to maximise the length and accuracy of their catapults.  This culminates in a ‘Royal Tournament’ style competition.  After the catapults are dis-assembled, the students remake them, move along a course then fire as fast as they can and safety allows.  Great fun.

This day is for a maximum of 30 students.  Fewer is better!

“The children were encouraged to work in a team and were given the minimum level of support, this really tested their organisational skills, something that we dont often get chance to do in a busy science lesson.  By the end of the day the enthusiasm shown by the two teams was fantastic and reflected the content and pace of the day.  We will be booking this course again not just as a science based day but also in a cross curricular manner involving history and CDT. Many thanks for an unforgettable day.”

Adam Yearnshire, St Mary’s, Hereford

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