HOW WE engineer
Equipped with only pencils and rubber bands, eighth graders compete to design and construct the strongest catapult. By following supply and time constraints, students embrace challenge, efficiency and creativity in the engineering process.
As part of the Middle School computer science curriculum, the catapult competition introduces students to the concept of “fail early, fail often.” This principle teaches students to accept failure as a part of progress and challenge themselves to innovate and improve. The catapult project encourages students to expand their creativity and take smart risks in their work.
Shady Side faculty members craft hands-on projects that present opportunities for students to develop their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. The catapult competition allows students to contribute their knowledge from multiple academic areas, such as math and physics, and apply it to concepts in computer science. Such cross-disciplinary exercises mimic the way problems are solved in the real world.