This study was a great excuse to make some and have some fun with catapult models.
- 1 wooden spoon
- 6 craft sticks
- 4 rubber bands
- marshmallows or cotton balls
- Stack 5 craft sticks together, and rubber band the ends.
- Stack one craft stick and a wooden spoon together, and wrap a rubber band around the very end.
- Separate the craft stick/spoon combination and place the stack of 5 craft sticks between them.
- Wrap a rubber band around all of the craft sticks to hold the catapult together.
Experimenting with Catapults
Catapults are a simple machine -a lever under tension to hurl a large object a distance. The arm is pulled back and then energy was stored in the tension of the rope and the arm. Then the bucket would be loaded. When released the Catapult's arm would return to its equilibrium position, and when it came in contact with the beam or block, the arm would stop but the missiles stored in the bucket would continue to launch toward the enemy. The Mangonel Catapult fired projectiles in an overhead arc, just as our model catapults do.
- Launch an object from the catapult multiple times and measure how far it travels each time. How much does it vary? Can you figure out why?
- Launch different objects from the catapult and measure how far each object travels. How much does the weight of the object make a difference?
- Compare catapults. Build more than one catapult and make slight changes to its construction. When you launch the same object from the different catapult and measure how far it travels, is there a difference? Can you figure out why? We found that changing where you put on the rubber band on the craft stick/spoon combination made a difference it how far it shot -the closer to the end you can get, the better the distance.
- How the Catapult Changed History at Adventures in Mommydom
- Kids Activity Blog has another version similar to mine, except she uses a bottle-cap glued to a craft stick for the bucket.
- My Whole Life is on the Tip of my Tongue has a picture of a catapult model made with a plastic spoon instead of a wooden one and a cork.