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Innovation in Teaching Competition - Beyond the Textbook

Projectiles, Physics, and Punkin’ Chunkin’

Jerry Knox
Academy of Richmond County

Grade Level and Content

10th to 12th Grades
Physics and Mathematics


In this project-based unit, medieval times provide a platform for students to learn about projectile motion and practice advanced algebra skills. Students learn about motion, velocity, acceleration, and parabolic equations to design and build catapults. Students then compete in a “Punkin’ Chunkin’” competition and see the results of their catapult designs. The unit concludes with students collecting and analyzing data from the catapult launches and reflecting on the unit.

Standards Addressed

S.P.1 a,c,e,f; S.P.3 c,e,g

M.9-12.F.IF.4; M.9-12.F.IF.5; M.9-12.F.IF.6

Available Materials

Unit Plan
Catapult Model Guide
Test and Revise Questions
Punkin’ Chunkin’ Safety Rules and Procedures

Video of Lesson

> Download this Video (To save right-click then select 'Save target as' or 'Save link as')

About the Teacher

Jerry Knox is currently a 10th through 12th grade physics and mathematics teacher at the Academy of Richmond County in Augusta, GA. Mr. Knox received his Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Florida and his Master of Education in Secondary Physics Education from Georgia Southern University. His best piece of teaching advice is that lessons need to be interesting to be effective – good teaching stems from relationships, so you need to know your students to keep lessons interesting.

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Disclaimer: The unit plans and materials on the Innovation in Teaching Competition website are aligned with Georgia’s standards through December 2014. English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics standards have been revised. The revised standards were approved by the State Board of Education on January 15, 2015. The revised ELA and Mathematics standards were renamed from the CCGPS to the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE).

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