The front fields of UNC Charlotte were under siege on Monday, Oct. 29, as area high school students launched projectiles from their medieval weapons in the NCJETS Ballista Competition. A photo gallery of the event is here.
NCJETS is the North Carolina Junior Engineering and Technology Society. The society promotes science, engineering and technology participation through fun events that pit high school and middle school JETS clubs against one another.
For the fall 2013 competition, teams had do design, build and fire a ballista. A ballista is an ancient siege weapon that uses two levers with torsion springs. The original ballistae fired heavy darts or stone. The NCJETS clubs fired tennis balls.
Teams were judged for the most innovative design, most innovative use of materials and the accuracy in shooting their projectiles. A greatest distance competition that was not part of the official judging was also held for bragging rights.
Founded in 2003, NCJETS is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Lee College of Engineering Department of Engineering Technology and Construction Management. The program provides a variety of fun and interactive activities that help hundreds of middle and high school students from seven counties in the Charlotte metropolitan region learn about the profession of engineering. Lee College of Engineering students, some of whom participated in the NCJETS club at their high school, provide mentoring and coaching to NCJETS participants.