Catapulting a LOVE for Science

A catapult is an awesome science activity but also incorporates math, engineering, and even technology. Read the complete article here.

These popsicle stick catapults make a great STEM activity! You will use technology  in building our simple catapults. You will use math to determine the supplies needed to build the catapults. And you will use engineering skills to actually build the popsicle stick catapults. Science tests how far the  catapults flung the items we chose.

STEM SUPPLY LIST: POPSICLE STICK CATAPULT

  1. Jumbo Popsicle Sticks
  2. Rubber Bands
  3. Zip Ties
  4. Binder Clips
  5. Firing Power {marshmallows, pompoms, pencil top erasers}
  6. A notebook for predictions and results (Which will fly the farthest! Make predictions and test results. Why does one fly farther than the other?)

POPSICLE STICK CATAPULT WITH RUBBER BANDS

This is a simple and quick Popsicle stick catapult using just two supplies. The directions are clear. Please make sure an adult helps with making the grooves in the popsicle sticks. This requires a knife. Great practice winding rubber bands and counting out materials needed!

POPSICLE STICK CATAPULT WITH BINDER CLIPS AND ZIP TIES

Here’s our second Popsicle stick catapult which may need more adult help, but it still quick! Gathering materials, counting materials, and following along is part of the learning process. He helped me start the zip ties and pointed to where they should go on the catapult. For this one we hot glued a bottle cap!


EXPLORE THE SCIENCES WITH CATAPULTS!

You can talk about stored energy or potential energy as you pull back on the popsicle stick and then turns to kinetic energy when you release the popsicle stick.

What’s a cool catapult without the right testing equipment {marshmallows preferably}. In order for it to be an experiment, you need to have a few items to compare. Try different shapes, sizes and weights.

First we made our scientific guesses as to what item would travel farther. Then we had to use our observation skills to see what went the farthest. Grab a measuring tape for some quick math.  Simple STEM learning with easy materials and quick ideas.

 

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