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What is a trebuchet?

Students adjust their trebuchets before the contest on Dec. 4. Each one worked slightly different, but all were successful.

Sun Advocate reporter

A trebuchet is a medieval siege weapon that has been out-of-date for centuries. However for the fourth year in a row, about 10 of them took the field just north of the CEU campus in Price. The event was put on by a combination of efforts from the CEU physics and engineering departments and included not only college projects but a couple high school teams. The object was straight forward; throw the farthest.

"My students kept asking me to do this and I kept saying, 'no you'll kill yourself,' but I talked to another physics instructor and she said it was fine," said CEU physics professor David Kardelis.

In all the students designs represented a diverse range of designs and concepts, but the farthest throw of around 650 feet came from a floating axle design.

"I think we did well. The machine is efficient and it puts the energy where we want it," said Justine Barckett the team leader of the winning design. "We have a lot of adjustable features, and we did a little machining and welding. Last Saturday we put our full weight on at 750 pounds and we shot 570 feet."

Many of the trebuchets also went down to Moab around Halloween to compete and according to Kyle Larsen, who teaches engineering at CEU, they did well. Mr Larsen also indicated that the event has grown over the years and he hopes it will continue to be a success.

All the students involved indicated that they learned a lot about not only building and physics, but team work and planning.

"It was fun. We had a mis-fire, but it was fun," said a student.

To view video coverage of this event click here.

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