
Log
of Mrs. Pirog's Tech Prep Class's Trebuchet Activities
OCT 30
Math
class watches Nova video on Trebuchet Project. Not enough time to finish
viewing it.
OCT 31
Math
class finishes watching Nova video. We discuss our involvement in the
Trebuchet project. Class mentions the part of video that showed that wheels on
The Trebuchet helps its firing ability. They suggest we build wheels on our
model.
NOV 3
Math
class studies graphs of parabolas and the effect a negative coefficient of X^2
has on the graph. The upside‑down curve demonstrates the path a
projectile will follow when launched from a trebuchet.
NOV 14
Math
class goes to library to interact with Mr. Clark's Physics class. Mr. Clark
presents demonstration on torque and center of gravity. My students take part
in question‑answer session.
NOV 15
Go
over the concept of a centroid of a triangle, which is the center of gravity.
In lab have students construct the centroid of their triangle so they can see
if the triangle will be balanced on the tip of their pencils. They experience
a lot of success.
NOV 16
Go
over the concept of torque with the math class. Also discuss fulcrum and how
lever must be balanced. Use proportions to solve examples on torque.
DEC 18
Take
class for second trip to library to interact with Mr. Clark's Physics class.
This
presentation is on paths of projectiles. Mr. Clark demonstrates Parabola
shaped paths. He also discusses Newton's Law #1 on gravity and acceleration.
JAN 17
Take
math class outside to view Mr. Clark's Physics class carry out their Trebuchet
competition. They launched eggs and accuracy and distance were their goals.
FEB 12
Develop
plans from the Internet to devise a building kit for all my math students to
build rubber‑bandpowered catapults.
FEB 14
The
first day my math students start to build their rubber‑band powered
catapults. All students are actively and intently involved.
FEB 15
Students
continue to build their catapults during second period class. Constructions
are individually designed. It is fascinating to see the motivation of math
students in this project.
FEB 16
Start
trial launches of catapults in the hall outside classroom. Students were very
busy perfecting their models. We decided to launch pennies.
FEB 27
Take
class outside for final competition of their catapults. 2 launches allowed per
student. Pennies were launched and their distances recorded. Also recorded
were the number of seconds it took for the penny to land.
FEB 28
In
class we calculate velocity that each student's penny traveled in yesterday's
competition. The formula we used was velocity‑‑ distance traveled/
seconds x cosine of angle of release. Students calculate their individual
velocities. We noted that fastest pennies did not necessarily go the farthest.
March
30
Math
class conducts a lab using pieces of hemlock timber beams to try to determine
the approximate weight of the actual throwing arm of the Trebuchet We used
scales to weigh the pieces and figured out their volumes so that we could use
proportions to find the weight of the arm.
MAY 7
Take
class outside to watch trial launches of the actual Trebuchet.
MAY 10
Go
on field trip to STCC for the big day‑ the actual Trebuchet Competition.
Comp. comes in second. The day was enjoyable and educational for all persons
present. 
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