SCC Hosts High School “Tater Toss” Catapult Competition On April 8

Written by Theresa Rose on March 25, 2015

West Burlington, IA- Southeastern Community College will host the Tater Toss on Wednesday, April 8, from 9:00a.m. to 2:00p.m. in the Loren Walker Arena on SCC’s West Burlington campus.

The event challenges students from area high schools to design and build a catapult that can successfully throw a ball of clay at a target. Catapults will earn points for accuracy, distance and design.

SCC Work-Based Learning Specialist, Leanne Krogmeier, says the event is a fun way for students to showcase their imagination and represent their schools.

“There’s a lot of talented kids out there who are busy building some pretty clever contraptions. We’re looking forward to what they’ll be able to do. Plus, they’ll earn school bragging rights.”

The catapults cannot exceed the dimensions of 40cm x 40cm x 40cm in any configuration. The energy source of the catapult must be elastic or gravitational, and no motors or chemical device may be used as a source for the propulsion of the clay.

Krogmeier adds that the event also includes a professional division for area businesses to enter their machines.

“A few area companies got excited when we told them they could enter their own catapult. It’s going to be fun to see which teams will win: the kids or the pros.”

All students participating will be eligible to apply for a $500 scholarship to SCC in one of the following programs: Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Construction Technology, Drafting Technology, Electronics Technology, Industrial Maintenance Technology, or Welding.

Krogmeier says the event allows students to learn more about the fields of science, architecture, construction and engineering. They’ll also get a chance to talk to instructors at SCC, as well as local business professionals who build and design on a daily basis.

“It encourages students to work together and use skills and concepts from the classroom in a real-life context. They get to find practical solutions to solve a fun problem,” Krogmeier explains.

Teams will be invited to display their catapults at the Southeast Iowa Regional STEMFest on Saturday, April 25.

For entry forms and complete rules, contact Leanne Krogmeier at, call 319-208-5053, or visit