This easy catapult is a fun winter version of our traditional catapult. We had lots of fun trying to knock down the snowman cups. This would also work really well for a school fair game or Christmas party idea.
How to make a snowman catapult
White pom poms
Double sided tape
Milk bottle top
Sharpies to decorate
Follow the video to see how to build your catapult.
Remember to only change one variable at a time
Is it easier to knock down a smaller or larger stack of cups?
What will happen if you add more lollypop sticks to the central core of the catapult?
Do the pom poms travel further than the table tennis balls?
Why does this happen?
When you push down on the milk bottle top, the lolly stick catapult arm bends, giving it energy, when the arm is released the energy is transferred to the ping pong ball which flies through the air.
The further down the lolly stick is pushed the more force is used, which gives the lolly stick more energy to transfer to the ping pong ball, this means it should travel further.
Links to Maths
Write numbers on each of the cups and create a game where each player scores the total on the cups knocked over.
Can you measure how far the ping pong ball has travelled, what will you use?
Allow 1 point for one cup knocked over and double the score for each extra knocked down.
Links to English
Imagine you’re a snowman, what does it feel like to finally be built? What can you see from where you are?
Can you try melting some ice to demonstrate how snowmen melt when the weather warms up? Freeze a big chunk of ice and investigate whether salt or warm water makes it melt the fastest.
How about making a snowman themed lava lamp?
See here for more catapult ideas.