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Students design and build medieval catapult

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TWC News: Students design and build medieval catapult
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GREENSBORO -- Engineering and physics came to life on the campus of Guilford Technical Community College Wednesday. Students tested trebuchets catapults they designed and built.

It's a medieval concept these students are bringing to life. The students say they learned valuable lessons that will help them in the future.

“We built a floating arm trebuchet, it's a 3-wheel design from medieval times when they used to launch things into castles as a weapon of war,” said GTCC student Eric Hoefler.

And their designs produced big results. The students were able to fling their golf balls more than 450 feet. “Each team is going to launch a total of five times and we're going to measure the distance and then take the averages of those 5 launches and the one with the farthest distance average is going to be the winner,” said associate professor of mechanical engineering Craig Koretoff.

Teachers say this project takes what the students are learning in their books and brings it to life. “A lot of it is physics, the trajectory, the pan angle of how it releases, how the ball spins." said Hoefler. "I mean it's a golf ball, whichever way the ball spins, it's going to go farther if it's spinning in that direction.”

And while they're having a lot of fun, they're also learning valuable lessons. “So it tells me how to start something and how to finish is and how to go through writing a report on the process,” Hoefler said.

During the 10-week class at GTCC, the students had to design, build and test their catapults for the competition. The winning team was treated to lunch for their achievement.

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