Press Release

Teenage Trebuchet Sensation uses STEM software for Winning Design on The Science Channel’s Punkin Chunkin

Canton, MI (November 20, 2012) – DST (Design Simulation Technologies, Inc.; of Canton, MI, today announced that a high school team competing in the trebuchet, pumpkin-throwing competition, Punkin Chunkin won 1st place and broke a world record with their Working Model 2D design.

Team Whomping Willow are high school students from Chapel Hill, NC, and have been building trebuchets since 2008. They used Working Model 2D STEM simulation software to maximize the throwing distance of their trebuchet arm, to win 1st place and break a world record this year at Punkin Chunkin. Whomping Willow team member Hastings Greer writes to DST, “Not only were we able to design our machine to maximize range for the resources that we had, but your simulation was accurate enough that the machine worked perfectly on the first shot ever and we predicted the range to within 50 feet!”

Punkin Chunkin is an international competition held annually in Delaware since 1986. Teams design trebuchets to throw pumpkins as far as possible. The show is broadcast via The Science Channel every year on Thanksgiving Day. Whomping Willow’s story will be aired this Thursday, 11/22/2012, at 7:30 pm and the final results of the competition will be at shown 8pm.

Trebuchets are gravity powered machines once used in mid-evil times, and now a popular topic for teaching physics, math, and simulation technology. With simulation technology, students learn to build prototypes of large trebuchets, and other machines that would be too large to construct in a classroom. Teaching with real simulation is important in STEM education, as students learn with the same tools that professional scientists and engineers use in the field.

“Access to professional-level software is important for school-to-work skills,” said Jeff Arrigotti, DST Worldwide Sales Director. “Working Model 2D provides students with tools and problem solving experience immediately applicable when they enter the workforce.”

About DST
DST develops physics-based simulation software. The company’s products are used by engineering professionals to build and test virtual models of their mechanical designs, and by STEM educators and students in the classroom to teach and learn about physics and engineering kinematics, dynamics, and machine design.

With DST’s SimWise 4D, Working Model 2D, and Dynamic Designer products, users evaluate design performance, by conducting complete, accurate simulations. Engineers, professors and students can quickly perform “what-if” analyses, find and correct design problems, plus refine and validate designs without the need for physical prototypes.

Students in high school and college use Working Model 2D and Interactive Physics, DST’s award-winning educational software, to explore and understand the physical world through simulation. DST develops, markets, and supports these software tools for commercial and academic users worldwide. Selected DST products are available from leading CAD suppliers and CAE resellers. Learn more by visiting the DST website at

About the Author:

Barb Schrader