Google, The Citadel team up for catapult competition

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Google and The Citadel are teaming up to let teams of people from school children to executives try their hand at catapult warfare.

The 2013 Storm The Citadel! competition starts at 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 16 on the school parade ground. The event is free and open to the public and is part of an initiative to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs in schools.

"Every year this competition gets more exciting," said Eric Wages, operations manager for Google's data center in Berkeley County. "And, more importantly, it conveys the message to young people that science and technology can be fun."

Each team will build a trebuchet capable of tossing a ball between 50 and 200 feet at a target. There are categories for elementary, middle, and high school as well as a corporate category for giant trebuchets. Teams will compete in three divisionsHoplite, Centurion, Barbariandivided by age, trebuchet size, and projectile. Winners will be selected based on accuracy, design and team spirit.

"Our goal is to demonstrate to young people that science, technology, engineering and mathematics are exciting, fun and cutting edge," said Glenda La Rue, director of the STEM Center at The Citadel. "And the increased participation from year to year shows that we're doing just that."

The competition is in its third year and attracts nearly 1,000 people, including 300 competitors from 40 teams. This year a team of first graders from St. Andrews School of Math and Science is scheduled to compete.

The event is part of National Engineers Week.

Among the school teams competing are:

  • Academic Magnet
  • Alston Middle
  • Angel Oak Elementary
  • Beech Hill Elementary
  • Berkeley High
  • Berkeley Middle College
  • Boy Scout Troop 759
  • Cane Bay Middle
  • Cario Middle
  • Charleston Charter School for Math & Science
  • College Park Middle
  • Daniel Island School
  • Dubose Middle
  • Eagles Nest Elementary
  • Faith Christian Elementary
  • Fort Dorchester Elementary
  • Goose Creek High
  • Gregg Middle
  • Haut Gap Middle
  • Hunley Park Elementary
  • Laing Middle
  • Macedonia Middle School
  • Morningside Middle
  • Moultrie Middle
  • Pinckney Elementary
  • Sangaree Middle
  • Sedgefield Intermediate
  • St. Andrews School of Math & Science
  • Stratford High
  • Summerville High
  • Wando High
  • Westview Middle

In addition to school participation, the following organizations will compete:

  • Centurum
  • Google
  • STEM Centers SC
  • The Citadel - Chemistry Department
  • US Navy: NPTU