Catapult Challenge Assignment

1218 words - 5 pages

Catapult Challenge
The Task : You need to move some materials from one place to another with the help of a simple machine. Keeping what you know about force and motion in mind, your challenge is to design the catapult that will move the materials the furthest.
Your Goal: Write a goal here: to learn and understand how a catapult works and successfully design a one that can beat all other catapults in distance.
First, find the answers to these question using the reference tools available to you— You have 15 minutes.
1. What does a catapult do?
a catapult stores kinetic energy from a material like rubber bands to launch an object in a specific direction
2. What is a projectile? A projectile is an object that is launched from a destination to another
3. How does a catapult work?
the catapult stores the kinetic energy from a material like rubber to create tension. When enough tension is built, the release will allow the projectile to be launchedthrough the air
4. What type of simple machine is it? (incline plane, lever, pulley, screw, wedge, or wheel and axle) How do you know?
Lever because it has force that pushes it down and when the force is released, the energy stored will be used to launch the projectile
Research: Research different ways to build simple catapults.
· You might try online research and/or trial and error.
· Decide what materials your team wants to use to build their catapult
· You have 10 minutes.
The materials you will have to choose from to create your catapult are listed in the table below.
Large and small craft sticks, or straws
10 altogether
Rubber bands
6 or less
Plastic spoon
Binder clip
Plastic cup
Clothes peg
Materials you have on your desk right now
Up to 3
Your projectile will be given to you by your teacher.
Materials we chose:
Fill out the table below.
Quantity Selected
Large craft sticks
Small craft sticks
Rubber bands
Plastic spoon
Binder clip
Plastic cup
Materials you have on your Straws:
desk right now.
2. Other Material: scissors, mac book
Draw a diagram of your design here.
Design: You have 30 minutes to build, test and modify your catapult.
Keep in mind:
· What is your design goal?
· How much force will your design require for a successful launch?
· What angle launches the object the furthest?
· Which projectile launches the furthest?
· Have you tested a different way?
· What improvements can you make?
· You may test every projectile, but you may only use one in the final launch.
· NEVER aim your projectile toward a person.
Test Data:
Test Number
Projectile used :
Change you made and why.
Distance in cm
Team Final Results
Team Number
Projectile used
Trial One Distance in cm
Trial Two Distance in cm
1. Pom pom
2. Ping pong ball
Observations Based on Data Evidence
1. Overall, which projectile seemed to launch the furthest? What do you think made that one go furth...


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