KSS’s Aljazari Workshop at Chughtai Public Library

Have you ever wondered how catapults, those giant throwing machines from the Middle Ages, operated?

On March 9, 2024, the Khwarizmi Science Society team brought history to life with their “Aljazari Workshop” at Chughtai Public Library. This wasn’t just about memorizing dates like any history lesson – these kids built their own catapults, launching their imaginations into high gear!

The workshop kicked off with a fun story!

Faizan and Hanzala, KSS Science Demonstrators, acted out a tale of two imaginary friends, who lived close but couldn’t toss a ball between their rooftops. Their dreams of playtime were hitting a brick wall! Tired arms weren’t going to stop their game, though! That’s when one of them had a brilliant idea: build a Catapult, also known as a Manjaneeq in Urdu.

Here the picture represents Faizan and Hanzala in the act


After the story came the history!

Next, Faizan and Hanzala explained about Ismail al-Jazari, the first Arab mechanical engineer and the “Father of Robotics.” They delved into the fascinating world of mechanical engineering principles, gravity, force, and trajectory, all related to the history of the Manjaneeq (Urdu word for catapult or trebuchet). The kids even made connections to catapults they’d seen in movies and TV shows, proving that history can be anything but boring!

In picture on right: Hanzala is explaining different parts of Trebuchet


The participants were anything but average. Even though they were kids between 9 and 15 years of age, their thirst for knowledge was impressive! They soaked up information about the history and science behind catapults like sponges.

In picture on Left: Faizan is explaining how to drill into wood



But the coolest part? Building their own catapults!

Divided into groups with their own instructors, the kids got hands-on experience with wood cutting, drilling, and hammering, followed by the final assembly.

Kids can be seen involved in different activities such as using saw to cut wood and glue gun to assemble the parts



Once the hammering stopped, the drilling quieted down, and the glue dried, it was time for the main event: launching those catapults!

To make it even more exciting, the KSS team turned it into a mini-competition. Teams built wall out of Styrofoam cups, transforming it into test castle ripe for the taking. With soft balls loaded on the launching pads of their devices, the competition was on! Each team launched their catapult, aiming to knock down the wall before the opposite team.


There was a lot of laughter mixed with learning as those catapults launched and Styrofoam cups went flying! The KSS team really outdid themselves, turning a history lesson about medieval tech into a totally awesome, hands-on experience. That’s how you make learning stick like glue!

KSS Team of Science Demonstrators are as follows:

  • Activity Leads:
    • Hafiz Muhammad Hanzala
    • Faizan e Bahoo Chaudhary
  • Volunteers:
    • Madiha Shaukat
    • Kanwar Daniyal
    • Hijab Zahra
    • Dr. Ameeq
    • Kabeer Ahmed
    • Raania Salman
    • Mazhar Mohyudin
    • Fahad
    • Syed Shayaan Haider
    • Dua Mehmood
    • Abeera Shahid
    • Sohaib
    • Abdul Rehman
  • KSS Team:
    • Amna Lal Hussain
    • Muhammad Ayyaz