Challenge: the powerful catapult!

Challenge: the powerful catapult!

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We dare you to build the most awesome and powerful projectile launcher ever constructed! You can play this game with a group of friends or with your family as a challenge to see who launches the projectiles furthest! Go for it!

 

   What you’ll need:

 

  • Paper towel rolls
  • Binder clip
  • Rubber band
  • Tape
  • Pom poms or a paper ball
  • Measuring ruler or a piece of plastic

Make the catapult using a clip, a half paper towel roll, and a rubber band:

  1. To create the paper projectile, you need to crumple a piece of paper as compactly as possible or you can use a cool pompom! Easy peasy! 😉
  2. Take the clip and attach it on the measuring ruler or the piece of paper using a rubber band.
  3. Cut in half a paper towel roll and place it at the end of the ruler, secure it with tape.
  4. Put the projectile inside the roller paper.

 

How to play

  1. Set each catapult on the floor.
  2. Ask a person who is not playing to count to three.
  3. 1, 2, 3, Discharge!
  4. Take the ruler,  measure how far each projectile went and write it down.
  5. Launch 5 projectiles more and record how far they all went.
  6. Add up your distances. The winner is the one who achieves the longest distance!

 

Now it is time to make it more challenging! Find a target, like a paper towel roll or… create the tallest tower (ARTICLE LINK) if you are feeling brave, and try to knock your tower over with pompom projectiles!

 

Are you wondering how it works?  

 

Catapults store energy until you hit the trigger. The energy is stored in elastic materials as the result of their stretching or compressing. Elastic potential energy can be stored in rubber bands, trampolines, springs…

The catapult you made is going to transfer energy from the spoon to the projectile. The projectile will have potential energy until the catapult releases, then the projectile will have kinetic energy as it flies through the air.