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Hundreds of elementary students compete in Catapult Challenge

The School District of Manatee County provided the opportunity for students to compete in the Catapult Challenge on Saturday, September 30, 2023. 


Superintendent Wysong (center) and Bashaw Elementary TSA

The event is a long-standing tradition which aims to engage students in a competitive spirit, foster teamwork and teach the concepts of energy and motion.

First, what is a catapult? It's a simple machine used to throw objects with force. 

Photo: Harvey Elementary School

Students received a bag with ‘secret’ materials on the day of the competition to build a catapult, test it, and then compete for distance and accuracy.

Photo: Anna Maria Elementary School

They were engaged in planning, designing, and building their catapults before competing in the distance and accuracy categories.

Photo: McNeal Elementary School

Johnson K-8 School of International Studies provided the perfect venue for the competition. 

The school was buzzing with students hoping to earn recognition and trophies for their creations.

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A total of 31 elementary schools from across Manatee County participated with more than 500 elementary students in attendance.


A huge thanks to all the volunteers, who were essential in making the competition run smoothly and swiftly.

Congratulations to all of the students, teachers and coaches, families and school administrators for supporting this successful, exciting event.

We are proud to announce the following TEAM WINNERS: 

Accuracy Placements:

1st Place – Team Fire Drone – Rowlett Academy

2nd Place – Team Sea Cows – Moody Elementary

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3rd Place – Team The Tarapulters – Tara Elementary

Honorable Mention – Team Ramon Noodles – Bashaw Elementary


Distance Placements:

1st Place – Team Bravo – Manatee Elementary

2nd Place – Team 32 Blue Birds – Willis Elementary

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3rd Place – Team The Blue Slingers – Rowlett Academy

Honorable Mention – Team Momentum – Rowlett Academy

Catapult Competition Champions

1st Place – Team Fire Drone – Rowlett Academy

 2nd Place – Team The Blue Slingers – Rowlett Academy

3rd Place – Team Sea Cows – Moody Elementary

Honorable Mention Team Fast Chickens – Gullett Elementary

Special thanks to STEM Coordinator Jennifer McManis and all participating schools for sharing #ManateeSchoolsGoodNews.