AP Physics builds catapults, soaks teacher


Shilo Toland

Locking and loading, junior Alexander Autenrieb prepares to launch a water balloon at physics teacher John Krehbiel.

As a part of  a semester project, AP Physics students built catapults and launched them at their teacher, John Krehbiel, in between buildings three and four on Nov. 22. The students built the catapults to reinforce some physics concepts.

“The whole point of this project is to [demonstrate] concepts like energy, conversion of energy into different forms, and kinematics which is the science of motion calculating how far thing will fly calculating their different velocity,” Krehbiel said.

Students enjoyed the project, but not necessarily because it helped them learn.

“I loved it because I got to hit my teacher with water balloons,” junior Alexander Autenrieb said. “Where else can you hit you teacher with a water balloon?”

The project is Krehbiel’s brainchild, designed to differentiate AP Physics from the well-known trebuchet projects of the other classes.

“The project was my idea. In honors and regular physics, we have made trebuchets for the longest time,” Krehbiel said. “I wanted something similar but different for AP so that is where I came up with the idea of shooting water balloons.”

Despite the time put into the catapult, Autenrieb was satisfied with the final result.

“It felt good because we spent one and a half to two months on the launcher,” Autenrieb said.