SolidWorks Lesson Template for Teachers to Contribute
Cover Sheet for Exemplary Lessons/Units Project
Faculty Member Name: Paul Duplessis
School District: Marlborough
Teacher’s School email address: email@example.com
Title of Lesson/Unit: Designing and Analyzing a Trebuchet Throwing Arm
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) STEM Concepts Addressed:
Physics Concepts of the fulcrum design (examples - pivot point, counter weight and
Engineering – Material strength and elasticity. Design concepts and problem solving.
Math – Geometrical design and computation for the pivot point selection on the throwing
Technology – The use of machines and materials to construct the throwing arm and the
Length of instruction period: 60
How many periods needed to implement lesson unit: 3 for arm only (the total
trebuchet unit is one and a half marking terms)
Grade Level(s) for use: 10-12
1. Design a working trebuchet arm using Solidworks.
2. Use math and physic concepts.
3. Develop an understanding of material properties.
4. Develop and understanding of the design concept and using criteria in the design.
5. Test the design and change the design for maximum efficiency using Cosmos. (How
to use Cosmos)
6. Use the design to construct the trebuchet arm as well as the total trebuchet.
7. Actual testing the design and construction of the total trebuchet.
Materials: Metals and woods for the throwing arm construction, Solidworks and
Cosmos for the designing.
Procedures: In my engineering class students design and build trebuchets. The
students design, draw, analyze and build trebuchets. The trebuchets are designed using
common criteria, such as size (3’x 4’x 8’). They then compete to see who designed the
best performing trebuchet by throwing specific objects with specific counter weights.
Each part of the trebuchet is designed. Three views are orthographically developed and
an isometric is created. One very important part of the trebuchet is the throwing arm.
This particular part must be designed using specific criteria, the principles of physics and
understanding material properties. Each student first designs the arm using Solidworks.
They then use the Cosmos program to check the structure reliability and predicted
performance. With the Cosmos program the students can change materials of the arm,
pivot point and counter weight and record the different data. This will enable them to
construct a throwing arm that will have maximum efficiency.
1. Technical drawing skills and techniques used on orthographic and isometric
2. Materials and mathematical computations used to develop the throwing arm.
3. Testing using Cosmos.
4. The construction.
5. The performance.
Resources Used: Videos, math books, construction books
Copyrighted Materials: None
What materials did you employ from published sources?