This simulation studies the operation of a simplified trebuchet (no sling, fixed counterweight). It allows students to study the rotational dynamics of the trebuchet and the projectile motion that follows. The simulation is flexible enough to be used for a wide range of grade levels (middle school through introductory undergraduate math and science students).

For Undergraduate Students

This is a two-lesson in-class exercise. During the first lesson, students are guided through the development of the differential equation of motion for the rotation of the swing arm, and subsequently use projectile motion equations to determine where a hurled stone will land. During the second lesson, they modify a provided DIYM template by entering their equations of motion to produce a working simulation, and use it to optimize the trebuchet parameters to achieve maximum range. The simulation exploits the ODE solver built into DIYM to determine the initial launch velocity of the projectile. This exercise provides a review of rotational dynamics, conservation of energy and projectile motion. 

For High School Students (under development)

For Middle School Students (under development)

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