Students from West Ashley High School won first place recently in a medieval catapult contest held on the grounds of The Citadel.
The contest was part of the annual Storm the Citadel! contest meant to inspire students at local high schools and colleges in STEM areas – science, technology, engineering and math.
WAHS also notched a second in accuracy. High Schools competing included WAHS, School of the Arts, Wando, and Stratford.
Student groups had to design and demonstrate their own trebuchet – a fancy word for an ancient weighted catapult design – and were judged on accuracy, distance, spirit and design. Anyone familiar with “pumpkin chunking” shows on television in the fall has probably seen a trebuchet in action.
The Citadel’s Physics Department provided free workshops for team leaders.
“It’s just a great day to bring kids out, to start to think about, ‘Is a STEM career something for them?’” said Col. Ron Welch, dean of Engineering at The Citadel.
Google’s Jeff Stevenson said project-based events like Storm! helps young minds learn about technical subjects. It makes all the difference in keeping kids interested in science and mathematics,” said Stevenson.
As part of its mission of preparing students for the 21st century workforce, The STEM Center of Excellence at The Citadel hosts the annual trebuchet competition, which is co-sponsored by Google.

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