GRANITE CITY – The applied algebra class at Granite City High School had a special visitor to Mr. Steve Knogl's class this past week - Granite City Community Unit School District #9 Superintendent Stephanie M. Cann.

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The class is made up of seniors who need one more math credit for graduation.

"Our goal in the class is for the students to use their algebra skills they already learned in other classes," Knogl said.

Knogl requires a variety of projects in this class throughout the semester. For this project, students measured the maximum height thrown from a trebuchet.

Some might ask - what is a trebuchet?

Trebuchet: type of catapult that uses a long arm to throw a projectile.

This is where Superintendent Cann provided a lift.

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She served as the guest launcher, sending five objects - (four small pumpkins, softball) through the trebuchet, one at a time.

After each launch, the class would gather the required data:

• How long was the object in the air?

• What was the object's initial velocity? (provided by Officer Cave's radar gun)

• What was the launch angle? (provided by Knogl prior to testing)

• What was the distance the object flew?

"Once the students gather all the information, they go back into the classroom and do applied physics to calculate the maximum height of the object," Knogl said.

For more information about Granite City School District #9, visit

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