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Friday, April 28th, 2017

Area students go back in time to test skills with ancient contest

By Tom Stankard

Coldwater senior Dayn Kenny on Thursday watches to see where his shot will land. . .

CELINA - Area high school students tested their mettle in science, math and physics by facing off in the medieval art of trebuchet warfare.
Students from Parkway, Coldwater, Versailles and Arlington high schools met Thursday on the battlefield of the Mercer-Auglaize Counties YMCA. The teams of six launched squash balls at targets attached to their opponents' trebuchets and were judged on accuracy. The contest was sponsored by the Wright State University-Lake Campus Engineering Department.
The trick is designing a trebuchet capable of accurate trajectories, said Lake Campus Assistant Communications Director Jill Puthoff. After all, the more accurate the machine, the more enemy targets competitors can eliminate.
A trebuchet is a medieval weapon used in siege warfare. The design is similar to a catapult, which was used for hurling heavy stones to smash castle or city walls. The trebuchet design consists of five basic parts: a base, a throwing arm, a counterweight, a sling and a trigger.
Several Lake Campus students acted as judges. Watching from the bleachers, sophomore Brandon Prenger said he wished he had had the opportunity to compete in this contest while attending Marion Local High School.
"It would have been cool," he said, smiling.
Competitions like these offer students "real-life engineering opportunities," said Parkway High School teacher Anita Morton. Coldwater High School teacher Jason Horstman said it makes students "think outside the box."
After battling against Parkway, Coldwater junior Mitch Balster said he had fun competing in the contest.
In the end, one of Arlington's three teams won the war.
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