Recently Addison and Brennan built seige machines (a catapult and a trebuchet) using the Siege Machines kit.
Addison followed the clear directions in the kit and easily built the catapult by herself. After firing clay balls across the kitchen, she then spied the huge bowl of Halloween candy. We didn't graph all of the results, but we do know that M&M's were the clear winners in terms of how far they traveled.
I helped Brennan with a few steps to assemble the trebuchet because it was a little more difficult to build than the catapult. It was still fairly easy to build and worked well. Unfortunately, we were only able to fire clay balls; the Halloween candy didn't work well with the fabric sling.
The Siege Machines book included with the kit gave ideas, charts, and graphs so that we could compare the effect of different variables (the amount of washers used as the counterweight, mass of the clay ball, etc) on the distance fired.
Pitsco Education's Siege Machines kit would be a perfect addition to a study of medieval times, but it's also just a fun project to build scientific investigation skills.
Brennan and Addison give the catapult and trebuchet high marks for fun! Who wouldn't love the opportunity to fire clay balls or leftover candy across the room?
The Siege Machines kit is available to order from Pitsco Education and costs $21.95. They offers hundreds of other products that will add hand-on science fun to your days, regardless of what curriculum you use. You don't even have to be a homeschooler to enjoy their products!
If you'd like to hear how much the other members of the review crew thought about Pitsco products, please visit The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew blog here.