Area high school technology teams have been working for weeks to design and build trebuchets (pronounced treb-yeh-SHETs) to compete in this weekend’s annual Pumpkin Catapult Contest, as part of The Great Pumpkin Farm’s Fall Festival. Thirteen teams from area schools are scheduled to compete for distance and accuracy and with enough precision to win cash prizes and trophies for their schools and prestige for their teams.
The competition starts at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 21, with winners being announced at approximately 4:00 p.m.*
Here is a list of competing schools and times:**:
- 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
- Williamsville South
- Harkness Center East
- Buffalo Academy of Science
- Nardin Academy
- Pioneer Central
- Scio Central
- 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Harkness Center West
- Forestville Central
- Genesee Valley
*NOTE: Media can call Nancy Cardillo at 716.472.6728 after 1:30 p.m. Sunday to get a better idea of the time the winners will be announced.
**Subject to change for individual schools.
A trebuchet is a slingshot-like weapon used in medieval siege warfare that relies only on counterweight – no springs, motors, or agents like gun powder – to hurl large stones or other missiles. In this competition, pumpkins are the “missiles.”
Teams are required to design, build and test their trebuchet using knowledge learned in math, science and technology courses. Trebuchets must be constructed only of wood and the hardware necessary for assembly; no other materials can be used, except for reinforcement of gussets and load-bearing areas, and trebuchets must meet requirements set forth by the rules of the contest.
Cash prizes are awarded for the longest distance shot, highest total combined shots and for “storming the castle”(hitting a target 150 feet away). All teams receive a plaque for participating.
Students from Depew High School took two of the top three honors last year: Longest Single Throw (502 feet) and Combined Throws (total of 1,427 feet). Buffalo Academy of Science took the Storming the Castle trophy.
Other special attractions at the Fall Festival this weekend include:
- Wild Bull Rides! Take your chances with a wild ride on the mechanical bull, available weekends through October 28. Just $5.00!
- Dinosaurs in the Cornmaze: Animatronic dinosaurs Vinnie and Teddy will roam the cornmaze from noon to 4:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday looking for their prey!
- In Jest Juggling & Comedy Show Comedy, juggling and family fun! Show times are 1:30 & 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday in the Entertainment Building
- Live Music in the Witches Brew Bar (indoors or outdoors, depending on weather) includes Harvey Brice & The Unbroken on Saturday, October 20 and Somebody Maybe Band on Sunday, October 21, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. both days
As with every year at this annual fall attraction tradition, there’s something for everyone, including amusement rides; mechanical bull rides; hayrides; cornmaze; the pumpkins and mum patch; pumpkin cannon; shooting gallery; homemade donuts, pies, cookies and pastries; Halloween decorations and special events, such as the World Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest, the Trebuchet Contest and Oinktoberfest, New York State’s BBQ Cook-off – and so much more!