Home » Learning Scenarios » Catapults in STEM and their historical use

About this STEM integrated learning scenario

A catapult is a mechanism used to forcefully propelling stones, spears, or other projectiles. It is mainly used as a military weapon since ancient times. Catapults were used by ancient Greeks, ancient Chinese and Romans so to be able to shoot arrows and darts as well as stones at enemy soldiers. In addition, they were used by Romans to get Constantinople for the first time with oiling fire. All this information can be used so to make students curious about the exact use of catapults in History, but also get to know how a catapult is working and what makes the catapult more effective. For this, we will examine certain functionalities according to principles from Physics, how is the projectile of the catapult measured according to mathematics principles and also how we can extract our experimental data during the subject of Informatics Technology in our classes.

Author(s): Nikolas Nikolaou, Georgios Parisinos, Spyros Onisilou, Maria Hatjimichael Pouliaou

Subject(s): ICT, Physics, Mathematics, Greek History

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Related real-life questions

This learning scenario explores the following real-life questions:

  • Studying sports in STEM: How hammer throw, Javelin, sphere and disc throw, and basketball throw relate to STEM?
  • What do we have to know so to be good athletes in these categories?
  • How these athletic categories and many other athletic categories relate to catapults?
  • What is a catapult?
  • Where do we use catapults in our daily life?
  • Where and when did humanity use catapults in History?
  • Are there any techniques in basketball so to finding the basket according to catapults?
  • Is catapult projectile (and athletic categories that we mentioned) connected with any STEM or non-STEM lessons?

Related STEM Careers

Catapults relate to a lot of military defence guns (they have the same physics status in initial preparation). Catapults and Sports Science especially in the Olympic Games are related to the mechanics and engineering of humans’ bodies and powers. All the information and knowledge gained can turn the students to engineering and science themes that they have to do with space, with human,s and also with engines in the military services.

High school students are using materials from our daily life to construct a working catapult. The project integrates fractions, geometry, and other math essentials into this relevant classroom lesson. Through the applied lessons, students’ math skills are reinforced and careers in Science Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) are introduced. This learning scenario introduces students in the science of Engineering using physics, maths, and IT so as to understand first the construction and after all the projectile of the ball in catapults. More efficient catapults mean more efficient knowledge in Geometry and other maths and physics essential.

You can find related STEM jobs profiles on the STE(A)M IT repository:

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