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Frosty Fling Saturday at Central
Challenge emphasizes physics, math, science
Central WEB
Forsyth Central 10th-graders Josh Jordan and Haley Womac work on a trebuchet they will use to chunk softballs. - photo by For the Forsyth County News


Baseball season won’t start for a couple months, but balls will be flying Saturday at Forsyth Central High School.

The school’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Academy will hold the Frosty Fling, chucking baseballs using student-built trebuchets, or catapults.

Scott Walker, engineering teacher with the STEM Academy, said the event is the first in what he expects to be an annual design competition.

“Each year the challenge will change,” he said.

This year’s event, which is open to the public, tasks randomly assigned teams of six students with building their trebuchets within a $60 budget.

The catapults will hurl baseballs as far as 75 meters away, while maintaining accuracy.

While a fun way to learn, the design challenge is just that, Walker said.

“They have the physics involved, they have high-level math — up to trig and calculus — and they’re also dealing with the science part of it and the engineering part of it,” he said.

“They’re going to give us a mark that they expect to hit and the farther they are from the target, the lower their score will be.”

Each of the 14 teams participating will be given three throws. The top five scoring teams get to do it again Dec. 19.

Only that time, students will get to chuck pumpkins and their targets will be an administrator of their choosing.

“The administrators are all for it. They’ve been very supportive,” Walker said.

The fling is one of the co-curricular activities designed to bring the science, math, engineering and technology students together to play off each other’s strengths.

The teams were selected at random, which means not every group had a student from all four areas of the academy.

“They had to learn to work with people that many times they didn’t even know,” Walker said. “It’s really helped their communication skills.

“I’ve seen great improvement with their team building and their electronic portfolios as a result.”

The Frosty Fling’s first launch begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 1:40 p.m. The top five scores will be announced at 2 p.m.