Snowman Catapult

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.

Snowman catapult

How to make a snowman catapult

Materials

Cardboard cups

Wide lollysticks

Elastic bands

Table tennis balls

White pom poms

Double sided tape

Milk bottle top

Sharpies to decorate

Instructions

Follow the video to see how to build your catapult.

Investigation Ideas

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?

Extension Ideas

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.

 

Snowman catapults

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