Student Competitors at the DHDC Egg Drop Challenge, photo credit to Don Harrington Discovery Center
Ready to launch your engineering career (or just throw a large object)?
Join the 2015 DHDC Catapult Challenge!
On May 11th, students in grades 5-12 are invited to try their hand at creating (and firing!) a catapult. Used in Medieval times for launching large rocks over castle walls, modern catapults have also been known to send ping-pong balls, pumpkins and other objects flying. What will you launch? Register by May 1st to find out. Registration forms and more information are available here.
This free event is offered by the Don Harrington Discovery Center (DHDC) in Amarillo, Texas, with support from TAME. The DHDC Catapult Challenge is just one of the many learning opportunities available through DHDC’s Education Program. For a complete list of programs, please visit the Educators section of their website at www.dhdc.org.
Students will compete in teams of two to five students. Team awards will be given for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place overall scores in each age division, and two non-scoring division awards will be given for the Intermediate (Grades 5-8) and High School (Grades 9-12) Divisions. These awards include Fiercest Fighter (best overall design) and the Innovator’s Award (most creative or original design.)
The Catapult Challenge follows on the success of last fall’s Egg Drop Challenge, which invited students from across the Texas Panhandle to take on a classic engineering problem: how to drop an egg from a harrowing height without breaking it? Over 350 students and 84 teams put their minds to the problem, testing the protective qualities of materials from coffee cans to tape to toilet paper rolls.
That event was a tremendous success. “These kids really surprised me!” said Pantex Engineer Volunteer Courtney Waddell. “I was one of the Recycle Judges, and the best part to me was seeing the use of materials. In engineering we’re always talking about different materials: How can we use it, how can we be efficient? These kids literally picked up things around their house and made great designs that I would never even have thought of! I’m really proud of them.”
“The question we get asked the most as teachers,” added Mindy Morgan, Director of School Services at DHDC, “is ‘where am I going to use this in the real world?’ Well, this takes practical application… construction and engineering principles are consistent, so this is a great way to take those TEKS and the learning we do in the classroom and put it to work in the real world.”
Register your team now and get ready to go far!