Students on the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering course from Sussex Downs College, Eastbourne, took their learning outdoors earlier this month, as they put their medieval trebuchet machines to the test.
The students worked in small teams over four lessons to design and build the medieval contraption. The trebuchets measured about a foot high and were put to the test by launching a golf ball and measuring the distance reached.
A judging panel assessed the students’ work on the most aesthetically pleasing design, the best display mat showing design features/team name and the furthest average distance reached from three attempts.
This was a memorable and fun activity for the learners. Team 2 won (distance) unanimously as their machine constantly hurled the golf-ball the furthest distance in each of the three attempts. The team’s invention had a longer arm and a heavier weight at the back to propel the golf ball forward with more force.
The winning teams were on meeting the judges’ criteria were: ‘Team goof-balls’ (Christopher Skelton, Harry Croft, Josh O’Reily and Nathaniel Dolayda who were awarded a combination square each; ‘Team Demolition’ (Dan Williams, Jack Judge and Rob Wooler) who received a Digital Verniper Calliper and the ‘B Team’ (Akshay Ayadathilthazha, Ka Wing Wan and Tom Cottington) who won cinema tickets.
Owen Alpes-Fourie, Lecturer in Construction, at Sussex Downs College, comments, “This activity has been great to engage students. The project has demonstrated their teamwork ability as well as their innovative designs and construction.”