Godfrey, Ill. – Teams of area high school students will face off Friday in a contest of ingenuity, design and working knowledge of physics during Lewis and Clark’s fourth annual Trebuchet contest.

Studying the effects of weight dropped over a short distance on a projectile that hurls objects over long distances, teams of four to five students representing nine schools have spent months using that knowledge of the basic principles of physics to plan, build and test their own trebuchets (medieval military machines).

On March 11 on Lewis and Clark Community College’s Godfrey campus, they will pit trebuchet against trebuchet to try and top their opponents in distance, accuracy and presentation of design.

Teams were urged to collaborate with drafting teachers from their high schools in using CAD software so that their trebuchet could be built in virtual form before construction, and so that some could be created to scale using the college’s rapid prototype machine.

In addition to the physical competition, teams are also required to submit reports documenting their efforts and results, including what worked and what didn’t work, along with background research into trebuchet design and history.

“The annual trebuchet contest is a great opportunity for high school students to apply lessons learned in physics and math to a hands-on application,” said Kevin Bodden, coordinator of engineering science at L&C. “In addition, the event fosters team building, exploration and problem solving. These are critical skills for those interested in pursuing jobs in an engineering field.”

The contest is a modern, nonviolent and educational application, with prizes awarded to top contestants. Registration is at 7 a.m., and the contest begins at 9 a.m.

Public spectators are welcome.

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