STEM Building

Lets start building!  Check out the different challenges below.

1. Download the Lesson!

2. Read the challenge.

3. Start building!

Catapults!

Did you know that catapults are a type of lever? They were used as weapons in medieval times specifically to shoot objects over a wall or over a distance! You can build a catapult at home with some basic household items.  Download the worksheet to learn more about levers.

The Challenge

Can you think of different types of levers you use daily?

You need 3 things to create a lever!

  • Fulcrum- the pivot point of a lever

  • Arm- the arm meets the base of the lever (that is the fulcrum point) this also helps launches your items! A place to apply

  • Force-where do you have to apply force to your lever to make it move/ launch?

  • Beginner challenge- Can you launch a small object 5 ft?

  • Intermediate challenge- Can you launch a small object 10ft?

  • Extreme Challenge- Can you launch a small object over 15 feet?

  • Ultimate challenge- Can you modify or design your own catapult with other items? Launch it 5 feet, 10 feet, or over 15 feet?

Things your can launch include a marshmallow, paper ball, or a bean.

Time to get building!

Materials Needed

Items you will need if you don't have these exact items feel free to experiment with what you do have!

  • Rubber bands

  • Plastic disposable spoon

  • Popsickle sticks (or something thin and flat like a plastic butter knife)

  • Something round like- a glue stick, marker, chapstick etc

  1. First you need to take your popsicle stick and plastic spoon and use a rubberband to tie them together. You want it tight enough that they do not come apart but not too tight that you can’t move the spoon.
     

2.  Next, get your round object (glue stick, marker, chapstick etc) and wedge it between the spoon and popsicle stick.
 

3. The last step is securing your wedge to the spoon and popsicle stick! There is no right or wrong way of doing this as long as everything is secure and holds in place you will be good to go!
 

You can use so many different things for a wedge for your fulcrum point. You can rubberband some pencils together too!!

Looking at your catapult can you identify the arm, fulcrum and base?

 

Modify your catapult!

Try modifying your catapult to launch an object further.

  • Does adding another spoon change anything? 

  • Does using a plastic fork work?

  • What happens if you tighten all your rubber bands?

  • What happens if you loosen all your rubber bands?

  • Can you add or take away rubber bands?

You just made a class 1 catapult!  Great Job!

We would love to see your project!  Share it on social media and have your parents tag us on Facebook(Brain Builders STEM Education) or tag us on Instagram(@brainbuildersstem)

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