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Google Goes Medieval With Trebuchet Competition

Science and wanton destruction go together like peas and carrots. Just ask the Myth Busters. The guys and gals at Google got together with The Citadel, a military college in South Carolina, to organize the "Storm The Citadel Trebuchet Competition." The event puts engineering, math and science knowledge to work building medieval weapons of mass destruction. Nineteen teams, 13 of them culled from area high schools, converged on the college's parade grounds to hurl oranges at a model of the school. Google had its own, much larger demo unit on hand, too, flinging squash, bags of flour and watermelons with the aid of an Android phone connected to the trebuchet over Bluetooth.

Eric Wages, operations manager at Google, told the Post and Courier, "What you want to do is make sure that kids understand that this kind of science is cool." The competition wasn't just about smashing stuff (though that certainly was part of the appeal), but rather about solving problems as a team, exploring the effects that variables have on results, and learning physics and engineering through real-world examples. The event was also a joint effort by Google and the Citadel to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs in schools, fields in which American students have fallen behind other nations. Check out the video after the break.

Tags: android, google, science, stem, StormTheCitadelTrebuchetCompetition, TheCitadel, top, trebuchet, weapons

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