The counterweight trebuchet is a medieval siege weapon used to fling large projectiles at or from castle walls, and was one of the most accurate and revolutionary weapons of the Middle Ages. Yesterday, however, the trebuchet was put to use in a new environment – a beach volleyball court.
The final exam for my Intro to Mechanical Engineering Design class (ME160) was a far cry from the strenuous and comprehensive tests of my other classes. Instead, all the aspiring Mech. Engineers headed to the volleyball court with the trebuchets we’ve been building for weeks in lab to wage war on one another, possibly in an effort to thin the ranks and make more room in higher-level classes.
Despite our best efforts and some reasonable (beautiful) shots, we were shot down about 20 minutes into the competition by a well-aimed tennis ball. Due to a recent ball-related head injury, I was actually rather glad to escape the court and watch the other trebuchets finish up their combat, satisfied with a job well enough done to get an A on the final!
In short, this is why engineering rocks.