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The Knights Before Christmas

Lesson 7: The Knights Before Christmas

STEM Career Connections
  • Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Architecture and Construction
STEM Disciplines
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Non-STEM Disciplines
  • English Language Arts

Students imagine arriving at a castle with a load of presents for the people inside, but the Knights in the castle won’t open the door! In order to get the presents to the people inside, the students will need to build a catapult and fling the presents over the walls!  A great amount of force is being applied to the presents in order to transfer enough kinetic energy to them and give them enough speed to make it over the castle walls. Many presents are being damaged when they hit the ground at high speed. You will need to solve this problem by designing a way to protect the presents from being damaged as they are sent into the castle.

The student's challenge is to design a way to safely transfer the potential energy in the catapult into kinetic energy in the cracker without the cracker breaking upon impact. Your design can include only the materials provided.

Project Files

Associate Dean, School of Engineering

Kettering Laboratories
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0254