Castles and Catapults

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It starts with a spoon on the edge of a cereal bowl. Little Billy is curious to know what would happen if he slammed his hand down on the edge of the spoon as it lays tilted outside of the bowl. How far will the Cheerios fly?
On Sunday, half a dozen kids satisfied that curiosity by participating in Gangplank Junior’s ‘Castles & Catapults’ event. Designed to teach kids a bit about energy, tension and physics, the event had kids problem-solving through hands-on activity. Mike Benner of Integrum, began the session by explaining how catapults were used in ancient warfare, as well as the different styles that developed over history. The kids were then let out to design their own catapults, utilizing popsicle sticks, rubber bands, glue, candy foils and twine. Each catapult was unique – a few of the children went with a cross-bow design, while others relied on the more traditional pull-back and let fly design. We also had one gravity-powered design, going back to the whole slamming-your-fist-down-on-the-Cheerio-spoon idea.
finalists 300x169 Castles and Catapults
Once the kids completed their design, it was time for round one of testing. The first test was for distance, the second for accuracy with the kids attempting to destroy our little bitty castle. Based on their performance, the kids were allowed to make modifications for round two.
The Catapult Competition from Gangplank on Vimeo.
At the end of the event, win or lose, all the kids got to see a giant catapult in action. Roy Van de Water of Integrum built a water-balloon catapult for the kids to try, resulting in several wet roofs, and a very soaked Roy.
116 0115 300x168 Castles and Catapults
It starts with a spoon on the edge of a cereal bowl. Little Billy is curious to know what would happen if he slammed his hand down on the edge of the spoon as it lays tilted outside of the bowl. How far will the Cheerios fly?
On Sunday, half a dozen kids satisfied that curiosity by participating in Gangplank Junior’s ‘Castles & Catapults’ event. Designed to teach kids a bit about energy, tension and physics, the event had kids problem-solving through hands-on activity. Mike Benner of Integrum, began the session by explaining how catapults were used in ancient warfare, as well as the different styles that developed over history. The kids were then let out to design their own catapults, utilizing popsicle sticks, rubber bands, glue, candy foils and twine. Each catapult was unique – a few of the children went with a cross-bow design, while others relied on the more traditional pull-back and let fly design. We also had one gravity-powered design, going back to the whole slamming-your-fist-down-on-the-Cheerio-spoon idea.
finalists 300x169 Castles and Catapults
Once the kids completed their design, it was time for round one of testing. The first test was for distance, the second for accuracy with the kids attempting to destroy our little bitty castle. Based on their performance, the kids were allowed to make modifications for round two.
The Catapult Competition from Gangplank on Vimeo.
At the end of the event, win or lose, all the kids got to see a giant catapult in action. Roy Van de Water of Integrum built a water-balloon catapult for the kids to try, resulting in several wet roofs, and a very soaked Roy.
116 0115 300x168 Castles and Catapults

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