Lowcountry schools build trebuchets and STEM skills for Storm The Citadel
The Citadel and Google team up once more to bring STEM to Lowcountry students.
Join in the fun as teams ranging from first graders to corporate executives lob projectiles across Summerall Field using a replica of an ancient catapult weapon called a trebuchet. The “missiles” include rubber balls, lacrosse balls and, possibly, fruit and sacks of flour.
The 2013 Storm The Citadel! competition, cosponsored by The Citadel STEM Center of Excellence and Google, will begin at 9:30 a.m., Feb. 16, on the paradeground. The competition is free and open to the public and is one of the many activities planned during National Engineers Week (http://eweek.citadel.edu).
The Citadel and Google are among the Lowcountry’s leaders in providing opportunities and initiatives to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs in the schools. The trebuchet contest was designed to get students excited about science and technology and to encourage them to have fun while learning.
“Every year this competition gets more exciting,” said Eric Wages, operations manager for Google’s data center in Berkeley County. “And, more importantly, it conveys the message to young people that science and technology can be fun.”
Each team will build a trebuchet, which is a type of catapult, capable of accurately tossing a ball between 50 and 200 feet at a target. There are categories for elementary, middle and high school as well as a corporate category for giant trebuchets. Teams will compete in three divisions - Hoplite, Centurion, Barbarian - divided by age, trebuchet size and projectile. Winners will be selected based on accuracy, design and team spirit.
“Our goal is to demonstrate to young people that science, technology, engineering and mathematics are exciting, fun and cutting edge,” said Glenda La Rue, director of the STEM Center at The Citadel. “And the increased participation from year to year shows that we’re doing just that.”
Now in its third year, the competition is scheduled to attract nearly 400 people, including more than 275 competitors across 38 teams. And the participants are getting even younger - a team of first graders from St. Andrews School of Math and Science is scheduled to compete.
Among the school teams competing are:
Charleston Charter School for Math & Science
Daniel Island School
In addition to school participation, the following organizations will compete:
STEM Centers SC
The Citadel - Chemistry Department
U.S. Navy: NPTU
The event will also feature a STEM exploration area where event participants and guests can explore and learn more about area STEM-related organizations, companies and educational opportunities.