Students have eggstraordinary time building, launching trebuchets

Local News

Students from across the Quad Cities area came together Friday for some scrambled eggs — and we’re not talking breakfast.

They tossed eggs at a target using a catapult called a “trebuchet” at Bettendorf High School.

Teams from Bettendorf, Pleasant Valley and North Scott high schools took part in a competition where they built the trebuchets and launched eggs to try and hit targets at different distances.

They sent those eggs flying at targets 75, 100 and 125 feet away — and had a blast doing it.

“They get four eggs in each of the three different distances, and then the final challenge is how far they can throw an egg,” said Quad City Engineering Science Council Director Pat Barnes.

The students had a great time building the trebuchets, and they made goals for what they wanted their catapult to accomplish.

“We went big, and bigger is better,” said Eli Pence, a sophomore at North Scott. “And so, the way we put it together, we just wanted to see how far we could launch that egg, and we were impressed.”

While they enjoyed it, the students said there were also some challenges assembling their project.

“We have different nodes that are at different lengths, and some of the lengths were wrong,” said Jayden Fairweather, a junior at Pleasant Valley. “We just had to work together to figure out how to solve that, as well as different things on how to make it go further and actually hit the targets.”

Pence says time and resources were challenges for him and his partner.

“We had a pretty good time constraint. We could only work so many hours a day. We had to work during class time, and we only have the class a couple times a week, but besides that, we did have a resource problem,” said Pence. “Since it was just me and him, how fast we got through work was a little bit slower, and so, by the time we got in the shop and started putting things together, we were a little bit low on resources.”

Pence adds it’s fun facing off against other schools, but the rivalry is different than a sporting event.

“It’s not like you’re enemies,” said Pence. “It’s just kind of like showing off the different things you can create, and I think that’s really cool.”

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