Leal MS students participate in STEM catapult challenge

Leal Middle School students showed off their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills at the inaugural “Apache Catapult Challenge” on Dec. 7 – 8.

A total of 25 teams from RTI/Advisory classes participated in the medieval-themed competition where they had to fulfill their objective to design and build a catapult to save a medieval King from an evil dictator.

“The students had to research medieval warfare, learn the scientific principles behind catapults, and ultimately, design their own catapult,” Leal MS teacher Gabriel Garcia said.

The students unveiled their final designs on Thursday to a panel of three judges and received points on presentation, history knowledge, design and teamwork.

“Each team researched medieval weapons, as well as the technology and society of that time,” Garcia added. “A lot of them made poster boards showcasing a summary of what they learned.”

The two day challenge concluded on Friday morning with the launching of the catapults. Using ping pong and golf balls, the top eight teams battled each other and were graded on best accuracy, distance and power.

Three winners were selected in every grade level.

“Overall, the students learned critical skills while exploring STEM-related concepts,” Garcia added. “The students got really engaged while building and researching their project, and adding the competition element was great.” 

Great job, Leal MS students! 

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