Record breaking 15th Annual Physics Trebuchet Day

By Brian Armstrong

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Boyd Buchanan physics students built trebuchets over the past few days to see who could launch a softball the furthest while gaining hands-on experience with physics.

“By designing this, they should also be able to predict how far it should be able to go, and then they graph it all. They do all the calculations. They do all the support work, but the big payoff is getting it out here in costume and just enjoying the day,” said physics teacher Jason Owens.

Owens started the tradition 15 years ago, since it was something he would have liked to do when he was in school.

I was in the first physics class a long time ago, and I would have loved to have done something like this, and when got the opportunity to get these guys an opportunity to do it I took it and they love it every year,” said Owens.

12 teams competed in the longest throw, including Perry Entourage. Team member Ashley Young said it was remarkable to be able to see all her team’s hard work pay off.

“I’m building it with three of my best friends and we got a few weekends doing stuff we’ve never done before. None of us had used a drill before, so we all pretty much learned from scratch how to build,” said Young.

After the building is done, the teams just have to cross their fingers and hope it works.

“As long as it works it’s good, but it’s kinda disappointing when it throws backward or straight up,” said Will Wortman.

And for team Tiger King it worked perfectly.

Tiger King’s McKenzie Gardenhire and Chandler Fryar went for the all-time record.

They threw 162 yards, breaking the previous record by 22 yards.

“It’s really hard because I never built anything or know how it works. But we just started putting it together and here we are,” said Fryar.

“It went pretty well. I mean thank God it worked,” said Gardenhire.

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