Watch the video: 

To view this video you need to install the latest version of Flash Player.

View transcript of this video.

Club Physics, the student club for students interested in applied physics and technology, are constructing a trebuchet for competitions.

Student constructing part of trebuchet

A trebuchet is a siege engine that was employed in the Middle Ages either to smash castle walls or throw projectiles over them. It works by using leverage to propel a projectile much farther and more accurately than a catapult. The sling and the arm swing up to the vertical position, where usually assisted by a hook, one end of the sling releases, propelling the projectile towards the target with great force. Club Physics will be challenging other clubs in the region to see whose trebuchet can project a watermelon furthest.

Student hammering nails into part of trebuchet
Section of completed trebuchet.

The project started as a great way to experience first hand how to design, build, and manage a large project. Now at around a hundred and fifty kilos, it's certainly turned into a large project. As it progressed, more and more skills were learned. Now after several months of work, we are nearing the stage of installing the swing arm. Then we'll begin the testing and throwing process. It can only get better.

Students standing inside trebuchet base