Next Salmon Meeting

Date: September 18, 2011

Time: 9:00am to 10:30am

To Be Held At:
Salmon Valley Business & Innovation Center
803 Monroe Street
Salmon, Idaho 83467

Wayne Talmadge

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1st Salmon Catapault Challenge - Summer 2008


Nov. 2008

Roger Grenier to meet with Salmon High School staff to outline the program

Dec. 2008

Salmon High School to respond as to whether or not they want to be involved with the event at the December meeting of RIOP.

Jan 2009

Salmon High School is to participate in the catapult challenge, they will define which students and teachers will be involved at the January RIOP meeting

Mar 2009

RIOP will contact other High Schools to ascertain if they will participate.

May 2009

The Salmon High School team will make a presentation at the March RIOP meeting. The team will inform RIOP what physical principles are involved, why they chose the particular design they will build and will have built a small working model to demonstrate what they are talking about. They will be prepared to answer questions.


Other schools to submit status reports to RIOP on their progress for presentation at event.

May to June 2009

Salmon High School team to construct their entry, either in the High School shop or partner with a supporting local business/mentor. Other schools to do likewise.

Summer 2009

Team to "tune" their entry, make refinements or changes necessary in order to be able to compete in early September.

Sept 23rd 2009

Catapult challenge competition during the second annual Career Awareness Fair. Teams participate in the challenge when they arrive.


River of No Return Catapult Challenge


Description & purpose of this event:

This is a design/build competition between high schools that is sponsored by the Rural Idaho Outreach Partners association of Salmon. It is intended to encourage our student body and demonstrate the relevance of the math and physics they are learning in school to real world machinery hopefully resulting in more of them choosing to pursue technical careers.


The teams would be from Salmon High School, Challis High School, Arco High School, Mackey High School and Leadore High School and others should they choose to participate. Each team is allowed one adult mentor to guide the process of design, fabrication and competing. Starting from the basic design criteria outlined below, each team would design and build a catapult or trebuchet that would launch a 1 pound water balloon the furthest distance. The competition will be held at the second annual Career Awareness Fair to be held in Salmon in the fall of 2009. The prize for the winning team will be a $5,000 check donated by Rural Idaho Outreach Partners to the high school agricultural program of the winning school.


Design criteria:

  • Motive force: 100 pounds of counterweight is the maximum allowable. The counterweight should be designed to be removed as each team's counterweight will be weighed prior to the contest to ensure the maximum allowable is not exceeded.
  • The maximum allowable expense to build the catapult/trebuchet is $250. This maximum amount is to encourage the teams to be creative in their design and utilization of materials. The cost of the materials is to be borne by the respective teams or their supporters.
  • It is strongly recommended that the teams research existing design early in the process. A good starting point is to go online to Also, research into kinematics (the study of mechanical linkages) would be prudent.


Competition protocol:

The entries will situate themselves at the launch baseline. Each team is allowed to launch several water balloons to "tune" their machine prior to the actual event. Each team is allowed 3 tries/launches for record. Each team must declare prior to a launch that this shot is for record. The distance will be measured with a laser rangefinder from the center pivot of the boom/arm to where the water balloon first strikes the ground. The longest shot of the 3 record tries will be recorded as the official distance.


Any questions? Questions may be directed to Wayne Talmadge 208-756-1505 or