Salisbury Press

Thursday, December 13, 2018
PRESS PHOTOS BY JIM MARSHThree teams enter the annual day-before-Thanksgiving turkey toss competition tradition at Salisbury High School and tune up their toss devices to attempt to launch a frozen turkey at the annual physics class extra-credit outside-the-classroom event. PRESS PHOTOS BY JIM MARSHThree teams enter the annual day-before-Thanksgiving turkey toss competition tradition at Salisbury High School and tune up their toss devices to attempt to launch a frozen turkey at the annual physics class extra-credit outside-the-classroom event.
This team of Salisbury High School physics class seniors prepare a simple slingshot machine as their entry into the turkey toss competition. The competitors boasted theirs was a “no-cost” project. While the team did not turn out the winning toss, it met the “launch” criteria to gain them their extra credit. They are, from left to right: Ruby Wiener, Elena Lagunilla, Meghan Fainor, Hailey Omollo This team of Salisbury High School physics class seniors prepare a simple slingshot machine as their entry into the turkey toss competition. The competitors boasted theirs was a “no-cost” project. While the team did not turn out the winning toss, it met the “launch” criteria to gain them their extra credit. They are, from left to right: Ruby Wiener, Elena Lagunilla, Meghan Fainor, Hailey Omollo
This five-member team constructs a trebuchet catapult as their turkey launch machine. Although the group had technical problems with their triggering mechanism, they made adjustments to the machine to meet physics instructor Paul Koba’s launch criteria to successfully gain their extra credit for the out-of-classroom project. One competitor, when asked what the team might do differently with the This five-member team constructs a trebuchet catapult as their turkey launch machine. Although the group had technical problems with their triggering mechanism, they made adjustments to the machine to meet physics instructor Paul Koba’s launch criteria to successfully gain their extra credit for the out-of-classroom project. One competitor, when asked what the team might do differently with the
With the trebuchet machine that was able to launch a frozen turkey 23 yards for the winning toss, are team members, from left to right: Thomas Croft, Michael Killiri, Jack Repyneck and Mark Wilson. With the trebuchet machine that was able to launch a frozen turkey 23 yards for the winning toss, are team members, from left to right: Thomas Croft, Michael Killiri, Jack Repyneck and Mark Wilson.
Salisbury High School physics instructor Paul Koba brings out the duct tape-wrapped frozen turkey he has kept in a home freezer through many years of turkey toss competitions, which are a day-before-Thanksgiving tradition at the school. Using the same bundle assures that each year’s teams compete with the same weight package in their quest for a school record. Salisbury High School physics instructor Paul Koba brings out the duct tape-wrapped frozen turkey he has kept in a home freezer through many years of turkey toss competitions, which are a day-before-Thanksgiving tradition at the school. Using the same bundle assures that each year’s teams compete with the same weight package in their quest for a school record.
The winning turkey toss sails away from the trebuchet machine for a 23-yard winning launch. The winning turkey toss sails away from the trebuchet machine for a 23-yard winning launch.

SALISBURY HIGH SCHOOL

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 by JIM MARSH Special to the Press in Local News

Scholars compete in brainy quest for turkey toss bragging rights

With football season and its gridiron heroes behind, Salisbury High School physics instructor Paul Koba each year challenges his physics class scholars to put what they are learning to practical use in the school’s annual pre-Thanksgiving turkey toss competition utilizing the principles they have learned about the use of simple medieval warfare machines.

Using the principles of slingshots and trebuchets, the scholars design and build their own machines in hopes they can achieve high school immortality by tossing a much-used frozen turkey the farthest distance down an athletic field behind the high school.

The tradition began back in the mid-1990s, when Koba found himself with more turkeys than his family could consume at Thanksgiving dinner, after he was a recipient of extra birds as a winning bowling tournament competitor.

Koba wondered if the extra turkeys might be able to provide practical examples of the simple machine principles he taught in his senior physics classes. Thus was born the idea of the turkey toss tradition which has involved his students for two decades.

Koba offered extra class credit to his students who would put in the outside-the-classroom effort to design and build simple machines capable of tossing an annually used frozen turkey the furthest distance on an athletic field. While the record toss covered the better part of a football field a few years past, Koba established an eight-foot minimum toss for the competition as one of the few rules for the students to achieve

He left the concepts on how to use simple principles of machines to the competitor’s own design and build ideas. That has lead to some impressive collaborative and cooperative teamwork over the years, Koba said.

“When we get out here and see the work these teams have put into this annual pre-Thanksgiving tradition, it serves not only to instill school spirit, but it provides practical everyday examples of concepts that might otherwise just be textbook learning,” Koba said.

“When the young people are left to their own devices, they can supplement their own learning experiences with hands-on applications they otherwise might not have.”