Design and Manufacture of a Museum-Grade Children's Indoor Trebuchet by Mechanical Engineering Students Academic Article uri icon


  • The trebuchet, a medieval siege weapon, can play an important role in stimulating and maintaining interest in engineering and the physical sciences. We discuss our experience with use of a specialty trebuchet design project in engineering education and service learning. In particular, mechanical engineering juniors in a machine design and synthesis course designed and manufactured (based on formal specifications) trebuchets for use by children 512 years of age in an indoor museum environment. The entire process entailed brainstorming of ideas, concept selection, dynamic analysis, design for assembly (DFA) analysis, along with manufacture and testing. Throughout the process, feedback was solicited from the community partner, a local technology discovery center, or museum (The Works). In the end, a total of six children's indoor trebuchets were manufactured and installed in the local technology center. The results presented are reproducible for use by other interested instructors.

published proceedings

  • International Journal of Mechanical Engineering Education

author list (cited authors)

  • Hennessey, M. P., & Johnson, M. D.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Hennessey, Michael P||Johnson, Michael D

publication date

  • January 2010