Beyond computer programming (Scratch), physical computing (Arduino) and other electronics related concepts, another topic to explore in our workshop with middle-school students at Kepler Tech Lab was about to teach them how to use woodworking and metalworking tools, such hacksaw, drilling machine, etc… through a construction of Trebuchet. A trebuchet is a type of catapult that uses the gravitational potential energy of a raised counterweight to throw something off the ground (Finio, 2016).
The workshop of building the trebuchet was not only about raising something off the ground (maybe a stone) or launching a projectile tho it was the heart of experiment but also the application of physics and mathematics, not to mention the ability to use wood and metal working tools, were explored.
Through trebuchet, students explored the principles of physics and mathematics. They learned the applications of kinetic, and gravitational/potential energies, and conservation of energy in which they were able to understand the difference between those energies and their working principles.
Finio, B. (2016, May 19). Build a Mini Trebuchet. Retrieved February 19, 2018, from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/build-a-mini-trebuchet/