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Citadel News Service
2 Feb 2012


Second annual trebuchet contest to be bigger and better

Ready! It’s going to be bigger and better than last year.

Aim! Make your plans to be on Summerall Field on Saturday, Feb. 18.

Fire! It’s the 2012 Storm The Citadel Trebuchet Competition.

The Citadel STEM Center of Excellence and Google join forces again this year to energize the interests of Lowcountry students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This year, the competitors will be younger and the trebuchets even bigger than before.

The “Storm The Citadel” competition is free and open to the public. The competition starts at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18 and the awards ceremony will begin at approximately 3 p.m.

“As proven last year, our partnership with The Citadel is successful in exciting young people about science,” said Eric Wages, operations manager for Google’s data center in Berkeley County.

Last year’s inaugural trebuchet contest attracted 125 competitors on 22 teams. This year’s field is expected to be even bigger. A category for elementary school children has been added along with a corporate category for giant trebuchets. Teams will compete in three divisions – Hoplite, Centurion, Barbarian – divided by age, trebuchet size, and projectile. Each team will construct its own trebuchet, and winners will be selected based on accuracy, design, and team spirit. Last year’s furthest launching trebuchet recorded a distance of 400 feet.

The trebuchet contest is among many activities planned during National Engineers Week Feb.13-18 at The Citadel (broken link, formerly to 

A trebuchet is similar to a catapult. The weapon was invented in China in the 4th century BC and came to Europe in the 6th century AD. It did not become obsolete until the 16th century, well after the introduction of gunpowder.

The trebuchets constructed for this competition will be made with the same kind of scientific ingenuity as those of centuries ago. In the Barbarian division, the trebuchets are expected to be able to launch a 10-pound medicine ball up to 400 feet.

“When facing the challenge of how to inspire students to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers, it often pays to think outside the box. In fact, destroying the box is even better for young people,” said Carolyn Kelley, director of the STEM Center at The Citadel. “Trebuchets are effective at launching ballistics at a target but they are also powerful teaching tools to impart 21st century skills.”

Among the schools competing this year are:
Academic Magnet School
Anderson 1 & 2 Career and Technology Center, High School
Ashley River Engineering Club
Beech Hill Elementary
Berkeley High School
Berkeley Middle School
Boulder Bluff Elementary
Burke High School
Charleston Charter School for Math & Science
Charleston County School of the Arts
College Park Middle School
DuBose Middle School
Faith Christian School
Fort Dorchester Elementary School
Fort Dorchester High School
Garrett Academy
Goose Creek High
Lancaster High School
Military Magnet Academy
Oakbrook Elementary School
Porter-Gaud High
Sangaree Middle School
St. Stephen Elementary
Stratford High School
The Citadel Air Force ROTC Detachment 765
The Citadel: Civil Engineering
Trident Academy
Wando High
West Ashley High School
Westview Middle School
Williams Memorial Elementary
York Comprehensive High School
Zucker Middle School

The “Storm The Citadel” competition is free and open to the public. The competition starts at 9:30 a.m. and the awards ceremony will begin at approximately 3 p.m.

For more information click here.  

Achieving excellence in the education and development of principled leaders
Media Contact:
Kim Keelor-Parker
(843) 953-2155

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