MORRIS COUNTY, N.J. (CBSNewYork)– A group of North Jersey students had the chance to show off their Medieval side on Friday.

As CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock reported, over 50 high school and middle school students met at Picatinny Arsenal to test their engineering skills. The goal was to build the best catapult to launch pumpkins the farthest distance into Lake Picatinny.

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Dover Middle School student Nathalia Orrala said it took her team almost a month to build their launcher.

“It was kind of stressful, but we got it done,” Morris Knolls High School student Matt Gironta said.

Engineers and scientists from the Picatinny Arsenal observed the catapult designs, demonstrating to students the instruments and methods used to measure their performance.

In the end, the students encountered mixed results.

“A little disappointing, but we just get to learn even more,” said 13-year-old Hannah Colon-Gold, who’s catapult misfired.

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17-year-old Quinn Fetterly’s pumpkin launched straight up in the air before smashing into the ground.

“I’m going to look on the bright side. It launched pretty high up in the air,” he said.

After a strong showing, Hillside High School student Yaa-Sin Abdul-Gawli said he expected no more than high-fives and some bragging rights if his team made it to the coveted third round.

For the organizers, this competition was a chance to win the hearts and minds of the dreamers and doers of tomorrow.

For the students, some well-deserved hallway swagger is sometimes all that matters.


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