Saturday, December 1, 2012

Creating Catapults

This is another engaging after school activity that we used in our Force and Motion science club.  It would be easy to add to your existing curriculum; especially if you teach the FOSS Variables kit. 

In the Variables Kit, there are four problems for students to explore and test variable - pendulums, penny boats, planes and flippers.  Flippers are really catapults that you can change the height of the object's trajectory path by changing the length of the flipper. 

Another great FREE game from FOSS is the Blasto Game. This goes right along with the idea of changing variables to further your flight. It is an interactive computer game that the kids will LOVE...

To follow up this activity, we had the students design and create their own catapults - using simple materials:

  •  a paper bowl
  •  1 or 2 plastic spoons
  •  1 or 2 rubber bands
  • 12- 16  inches of tape
  •  3-4 straws
  • 3-4 Popsicle sticks
  • mini marshmallows (the ammunition)
And off course...we had to write about our designs with a diagram to show how they worked!


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