Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pitsco Education Medieval Machines Pack

Pitsco Education

Pitsco Education Medieval Machines Pack
  • Students Will Build One Trebuchet and One Catapult
  • For Middle School Ages and Older
  • Includes Trebuchet Kit, Catapult Kit, Mass Plates and a Book About Siege Machines
  • Scissors, Ruler, Pliers, Glue, Sandpaper and a Hobby Knife are Required for Assembly
  • Klean Clay Sold Separately
  • Current Price of this Combination Pack -$21.95
  • Activities From the Book Require Additional Materials
  • Phone 800-835-0686
Pitsco Education has been in business for over 40 years.  This company that began with a product flyer, a few kits ,and some extra work on weekends has grown to a full fledged company with over 200 employees.  Pitsco Education serves over 7 million students each year!

The website store has some amazing hands on projects for students.  The hands on activities are a fun way to get students excited about science and math.  The bonuses are accomplishing a project, following instructions, critical thinking and cooperation.

We were sent this Medieval Machines Pack, which can be purchased through the Pitsco Store for $21.95.

Pitsco Trebuchet Pieces

We decided to build the trebuchet first.  We punched out the pieces, and gathered the tools we would need.

Pitsco Trebuchet

It wasn’t terribly hard to build, but requires some time and patience.  The pieces need to be measured properly, assembled accurately, and centered evenly.  There are also times when production halts while the glue dries. 

My eleven year olds need adult supervision and intervention.  Some of the pieces of this machine are wire paperclips bent to the shape given on a template, and notches need to be cut into the base for the release trigger.

Pitsco Trebuchet completed
Objects are placed in the little sling, and then the trigger is released.  The object is flung up and over the trebuchet and all over the house.

The Catapult starts out like this:

Pitsco Catapult

And becomes, this:

Pitsco Catapult

There are more pieces and they are a little bit smaller, but they are labeled and not too hard to assemble.  Again, there is some patience required, and the directions need to followed accurately.  

A catapult can definitely inspire enthusiasm in an eleven year old boy.  I told Boy One and Boy Two that the glue had to dry for an hour before they could use the machine.  

Fifty-nine minutes and fifty-nine seconds later, rather than going to bed, both arrived downstairs, clad in pajamas, to test it out.  The normally fashion conscious Boy Two even let me take video!

I’m glad he did, because we may have been a bit too enthusiastic.  After a few days of flinging clay, paper, minifigs, mini marshmallows and whatever else we thought of, we broke the little trigger handle.  Now it has been re-glued and has electrical tape on it.

The website description states that this kit can be used to study the following subjects in the following ways:
  • Science: Tension versus torsion, elasticity, gravity and levers, and force and motion
  • Math: Metric conversion, calculating averages, and prediction
  • Experiments: Mass versus distance, testing rubber bands, targeting, and more
The experiments in the book do require some additional materials:  Tape measure; digital scale or balance; 15′-20′ of white roll paper such as the plain side of wrapping paper or Pitsco’s Range Paper Tape; cool-melt glue gun and glue; straw; ruler; scissors; extra rubber bands: 4 –  3-1/2″ x 1/16″ (#19), 1 – 3-1/2″ x 1/4″ (#64) (not including the one on the catapult), and 4 – 3″ x 1/16″; target – either an 8.5″ x 11″ piece of color paper or one pack of Target Pieces; 2″ x 12″ sheet of balsa wood or basswood; 2 – 2.5-inch-long axles, 4 nylon axle bushings, small washers, and model car wheels (such as those for CO2 cars)

The catapult and trebuchet may be purchased separately for $10.95 each.  The Siege Machines book is sole alone for $3.95.  Co-ops or traditional classrooms are eligible for reduced prices for groups of 10 ($8.39) or 30 ($7.67).
The combination pack with the catapult, trebuchet and Siege Machines book for $21.95.

Pitsco Medieval machines Pack


As a member of the TOS crew, I received these products in exchange for an honest, blogged review.  I was not paid to write this post, and my opinions are genuine.