Students explore physics and engineering in a historical context by building models of medieval siege engines.
Students construct and operate classroom-safe miniature catapults, ballistae, onagers, trebuchets, and other ancient artillery engines. They learn the application of geometry and physics in their designs. For a final project, students participate in launch-distance competitions.
Lessons include engineering topics such as simple machines, tension, torque, two-dimensional kinematics, and the design process, as well as historical information about the invention of siege engines.