At the end of Term 3, our Introductory Year students took part in a workshop introducing students to Trebuchet Engineering. The trebuchet, a weapon used during siege warfare, requires an interaction of mathematical and physics problem-solving in its design.
Here is an account of the afternoon by one of our Brilliant Futures students:
"The Brilliant Futures Trebuchet Engineering Course, in collaboration with Griffith University, was a day that will not easily be forgotten. It had both elements of academics (the physics and maths behind the function of a trebuchet) and hands on work (constructing a trebuchet and finessing it).
The physics equations and laws that applied to a trebuchet were clearly explained by the professor. These physics concepts include Newton Laws of Motion, kinematics, potential and kinetic energy, quadratic function, trigonometry, and various other concepts that relate to medieval siege engines such as the trebuchet.
The particular trebuchets students constructed during the course, were built from a kit that had many points of adjustment such as the counter weight, payload, fulcrum point along the swing arm, sling length, sling location along the swing arm, and counter weight location. Each of the numerous combinations resulted in various outcomes all with fluctuating success.
The course ran for a total of two hours and in that time students learnt the many incredible physics equations and laws that make the trebuchet a feat of ancient, medieval machinery to marvel at, even in today's day and age. As a student, involved in the course, I would highly recommend it to all students particularly those willing to learn more about physics and how it relates to the world of engineering." - Lucas
Mrs Christina Rekort-Blundell
Brilliant Futures Coordinator