Flinging projectiles has become a way of life here at Pitsco Education since the start of the siege machines line more than 10 years ago. That first machine was the Trebuchet Kit, which was followed by the Catapult, Large Trebuchet Demonstrator, Torsion Ballista, and Torsion Catapult Kits.
Now we are introducing one more to the pack: the Rolling Trebuchet Kit.
Set on a chassis with wheels, the rolling trebuchet comes straight out of medieval history. Plus, it gains a mechanical advantage over the classic trebuchet with the stationary base. Why? Because its frame can move, so when the counterweight falls, it falls vertically rather than in an arch. This gives more momentum to the throwing arm, which should equal more force hurling the projectile across your classroom or home.
Mechanical Designer Gary Jones, who has developed all of Pitsco’s siege machine kits, says it was a natural progression to add this historical trebuchet.
“It just adds something a little bit different to the product line,” he said.
Jones added that this trebuchet’s design is easier to set up and launch because it is open on one side. It performs more consistently, and the length of the projectile string is easy to change because the rolling trebuchet doesn’t use a sling like the original trebuchet. Instead, you secure the projectile to the end of a piece of string, which has a loop that connects to the throwing arm and releases the projectile upon launch.
And how does it compare in performance? Jones says the rolling trebuchet actually throws as far as or a little farther than the older kit, even though it’s smaller in size.
So if your students or children love history, physics, or mechanical engineering, this kit will be perfect for them, as it combines all three subjects for a fun and memorable activity. Check out this brand-new release and the other medieval siege machines at www.pitsco.com.
Related links:Trebuchets – Getting Started PackageSiege Machines, 2nd EditionTrebuchets Teacher's GuideTrebuchet Video
By Rena Mincks, TAG member, Jefferson Elementary, Pullman, WAAccording to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), first-grade students are expected to plan and carry out investigations to answer questions or test solutions to problems collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence to answer a question.
Together with their STEM Buddies (two students who work together for a single activity), first-grade students were asked, “What shape will hold the most weight before breaking?” Each team was given the same specifications for building a toothpick bridge, such as length, width, and design for putting weights on the structure.
After watching the Dr. Zoon Toothpick Bridges Video, students designed and built their bridges. The testing day was filled with ideas for redesigning. After the bridges had failed, by the end of the day, most teams were convinced that a triangular shape is best.
Related Links:Try This: Toothpick Bridge KitBridgepakToothpick Bridge TesterBalsa Bridges - Getting Started Package
Back to school looks like fun in commercials – new clothes, new supplies, new year! Below, homeschool mom Sarah gives some insight into her preparation strategy for the homeschool year.
I try not to take big breaks. I know families that school year-round, three weeks school, one week off, or, like us, take breaks when we need them. This month I am doing our lesson plans, but we are all helping clean out the dining room/school room, moving all of last year's books out and organizing this year's. This helps to build some excitement, seeing the new books and projects.
Our first day, we will decorate binders and pencil cases and organize our planners and subjects – basically doing a mock school day to learn our new schedule/routine. The first week we will tweak that routine until it works (hopefully). We will slowly add in all subjects those first two weeks to give us an adjustment time.
For me, I have to be sure to meal-plan, including morning and afternoon snacks, lunch, and dinner. Paper plates and paper towels are on our back-to-school supply list. Oh, and I have friends who make a point to go to the donut shop the morning of their first day of school. We will probably just make sure to have an extended recess time outside as long as the weather is nice.