Catapults and Trebuchets

Forces and Motions Workshop today at Fort Nelson with a group of Home Educators. I think there were about 25 children with Twinbos 3 & 4 (6) probably the youngest in the group with the eldest attendees around 13/14 at a guess.  
Just about the right amount of time and type of hands on content we like and for our own family it worked despite the two very different age groups. 
The workshop focused on the science rather than the history of these weapons but we have undertaken our own research into the history instead and have enjoyed watching videos of a rather exciting looking Trebuchet in action at Warwick Castle. To be fair I think we were pretty well informed prior to the event but  we really enjoyed it nonetheless.
This has tied in well with Twinbo 2’s desire to focus on Medieval history as well as our general all round interest in Castles.
First part of the session took place in their “educational room” whereby they grouped and had a go at building their own catapult and then the best part they all got to fire them with the intention of knocking down a small wooden construction at the far end of the room. Tests with tightening the bungee cord and using different objects covered force, resistance and aerodynamics. 
We were free afterwards to wander around and take a look in the galleries. This was our second trip so just a brief float around for us but we enjoyed the company of some of our friends.

After a picnic lunch, we witnessed a rather large gun being fired twice. Very Loud. Very Powerful.
Finally, the Trebuchet part. The older, taller children got to wind up the counterweight and set the mechanism free to fire. Plenty fun and encouragement from the crowd. The little ones despite not being able to be as hands on for obvious reasons still had fun counting down and shouting out instructions. 
By 2pm we were ready to leave (although we could have stayed on) but we were anxious to see Twin Dad who was on his way home from London. 
Due to a rather nasty incident, the train was cancelled so we ended up driving 30 miles to Haslemere to collect him. The positives, we got to see some beautiful Surrey/West Sussex countryside.
Finally back home and it’s Minecraft, Lego and Bike Riding.

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