We’ve made lots of different mini catapults before, but this was our first attempt at a large version. We had SO much fun with our giant catapult, and it inspired lots of different investigation opportunities.
Try using different size and weight balls, measure how far they travel or how high they go. Another idea is to dip balls in paint and make some catapult art? Or use the paint to help measure where the balls land?
This is a great activity for learning about forces and different types of energy.
What is a catapult?
A catapult is a device used to launch a projectile ( in this case a tennis ball ) a large distance.
5 long sticks
2 smaller sticks
Different size and shape balls to test
Small plastic container – we used a plastic Starbucks Frappuccino lid!
Catapult Building Instructions
Build a frame using the sticks and string.
Cut three pieces of catapult elastic and attach evenly around a plastic container.
Attach the other ends of the elastic to the base and sides of the catapult structure as shown above.
Test your catapult out!
Catapult Investigation Ideas
Try using different size balls to investigate which travel the furthest. Can you predict what will happen first?
Construct a bigger and smaller catapult, does it make a difference?
Questions to ask
How will you measure the distance the balls travel?
What conditions do you need to keep the same?
What do you think would happen if you used a smaller or bigger catapult?
What would happen if you used less stretchy elastic?
How could you improve the design of your catapult?
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If you enjoyed this activity you might like my other sport themed science investigations.
Last Updated on July 16, 2022 by Emma Vanstone