Welcome to this month’s Simply STEM activity! Today, we are making a catapult made out of popsicle sticks! We will discover how to engineer a stable catapult in order to launch small objects. I made my catapult St. Patrick’s Day themed, but you can use any colors and launching material that you want!
Time: 10 minutes
This activity is designed to teach your students how to construct the perfect catapult! They will have to figure out how to design the catapult so that it could launch small objects successfully. Have your students test out different materials to see which objects launch the farthest!
- 1 pack of popsicle sticks (regular or jumbo)
- Rubber bands
- Sticky dots
- Bottle cap
- Marshmallows or pom poms
Step 1: Take 8 of your popsicle sticks and stack them on top of each other. Take two rubber bands and tie each side of the stack.
Step 2: Take 2 popsicle sticks and with your scissors, cut small divots on each side at the top of each popsicle stick. Leave the bottom alone.
Step 3: Take your 2 popsicle sticks with divots. Squeeze one stick in between the stack of popsicle sticks towards the bottom. Put the other popsicle stick on top of the stack and align it with the stick on the bottom.
Step 4: Take the edges of the sticks with the divots and tie them together with a rubber band.
Step 5: Slide the tied edge over to the other side of the stack until you feel some pressure towards the rubber band.
Step 6: Attach your bottle cap to the opposite end of the top popsicle stick away from the side with the rubber band. Use your sticky dots to attach the cap.
Step 7: Take your launching material (in my case I’m using marshmallows) and put it in the bottle cap. Make sure that whatever launching material you’re using will fit inside the cap comfortably.