Tuesday, 10 January 2017
For Tuesday this week, we built trebuchets from PVC. Two motivations led us to choose this project: 1) throwing things is fun and 2) PVC is a great material for makers to build with.
To build, we used the instructions for the PVC Trebuchet Instructable. What I liked about this plan was the variety of PVC fittings the kids would get to use. Students worked in groups of four to assemble per instructions.
My teaching colleagues and I had to show kids a few details, including using epoxy for the first time, how to use PVC primer & cement, as well as how to bend a nail using channel lock pliers.
There’s quite a bit of fine tuning that happens with the angle of the nail used in the release mechanism. I wish we’d had another hour to mess around with it. Since most of y’all don’t have a JanTerm, I hope y’all physics teachers are eyeing the project for projectile motion. Do it! These things could probably be built more efficiently by making the cuts in advance. I bet you could do it in about 2 hours.