Combining Systems

Students explore how different systems and subsystems are combined to create machines.


For this challenge you are to work in small groups, using all the knowledge and skills you have developed throughout this unit to create a mid-sized siege weapon. This is considered your final project and worth a large portion of your overall mark for this unit, thus it is important that you demonstrate the proper knowledge, skills, and attitudes in class. You will need to solve the following problem:

How do you create a mechanical system to move a projectile (golf ball) a maximum distance?

The project will follow the following format:

  • Ideate
    • Generate as many solutions to solve the problem, there is no wrong answer here, think of as many solutions as you can. Once you and your group have exhausted all their ideas to solve the problem think about which solution would work best in your unique situation.
  • Prototype
    • Create a design for your solution. Once approved, we will move to the shop to build your prototype.
  • Test
    • In the future we will test our prototypes in the school field.

Please note: These steps above are a truncated version of the Design Thinking Bootleg developed by Stanford University. If you would like to learn more click here.


With your group, discussion, sketch, and write short notes of possible solutions. Think of as many solutions for the problem above as possible, there are no wrong answers, no matter how crazy or outlandish, sketch out a very simple plan and think how it could work.

After you have a few solutions, discuss with your group member the “best” solution and move on to the prototype phase. You can use the space on this page to sketch and plan your solutions.


The prototype stage is broken down into two parks. The design and the build. Before you move onto the build your design needs to be approved by your teacher. If you are stuck on creating a technical drawing for your design you can view this video.

A plan for techinical drawings.

Using the technical drawing above, determine not only the materials you need, but the dimensions of each material. This will help you plan your cuts when we move to the shop.

Material use chart.
Mark as Complete