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Expanding Our Roots

BC Wood WORKS! /Canadian Wood Council Engineering Competition
Excitement was in the air, but not rain, as nine teams gathered at UBC’s Spencer Field in Vancouver on Saturday, February 17th to compete in the first Western Canadian BC Wood WORKS! / Canadian Wood Council Engineering Competition.

Participating teams came from Okanagan College (Kelowna), UBC - Vancouver, University of Alberta (Edmonton) and UBC – Okanagan (Kelowna). All of these teams had spent hours designing and building a wooden catapult capable of accurately hitting targets at 20, 30 and 50 meters, using a cement ball as their projectile. Teams consisting of students and one faculty sponsor had previously submitted reports about their machine’s design (catapult, trebuchet or crossbow) for grading to BC Wood WORKS! staff.

Competition day started with the teams weighing in their catapults (trebuchets and crossbows), before being judged on an informal 15- minute presentation about their design, building process and testing. In the afternoon, the actual timed performance trials took place, putting the teams and their machines to the test.  Okanagan College was one of the first teams to perform, and their outstanding results set the record for the afternoon! The performance trials revealed the unpredictability of such an event, and teams whose machines broke or failed during their performance period continued to encourage and help other teams still yet to perform 

The First Place Overall winner was the well-prepared team from Okanagan College, consisting of Clint Monson and Caleb Pomeroy, who dominated the field with 1886 points. Monson and Pomeroy’s trebuchet proved that hard work and attention to detail pays off, enabling them to earn First Place Overall ($1500.00 plus complimentary tickets to the BC Wood WORKS! Gala Awards). 

The first-place team from Okanagan College with their Civil Engineering faculty sponsor, Tom Guenther.
Second place overall ($1000.00) was awarded to UBC’s CrossBow Project team who accumulated 1560.5 points. Third place prize (of $500.00) was awarded to the hard-working team of UBC – Okanagan who totalled 1083.5 points.

At the end of the day, all teams were recognized for their efforts with participation plaques as well as specific awards for Best Presentation (Okanagan College), Team Spirit (UBC- Vikings) and Longest Distance (UBC – Power Ballers, with longest official shot of 77.6 meters, unofficial shot of 84.4 meters). 

The goals of the catapult challenge, "to create and showcase inventive catapult models that explore and expand upon the potentials of wood design in an amicable setting", were realized at this Competition.  The Competition proved to be a great practical challenge for the students and it was inspiring to witness the cooperation and communication between participating schools throughout the event. 

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