Here’s one one way to introduce students to science, particularly physics: Build a scaled-down wooden replica of a Medieval siege machine and use it to toss pumpkins a great distance.
Southold Elementary School’s three sixth grade classes recently completed field studies integrating science, technology, engineering and mathematics in what the school terms “pumpkin physics.”
The students’ challenge was to apply Newton’s laws of motion with physics and applied mathematics. The tool the employed was a trebuchet, an ancient weapon that could hurl large projectiles with fearsome results.
It was also about finding ways to combat gravity and other factors inhibiting a pumpkin’s flight of up to 250 feet. Each of the three classes had 15 donated pumpkins to launch.
Video by Katharine Schroeder.