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Materials Tools
3 1/4"x3/4"x3/8" wood for the base
2 1/4" Popsicle stick (half)
1/8" dowel rod 1" long
1 1/2" nail with head
8" string or waxed thread
3" narrow rubber band
2"x1/4" cloth
Water bottle cap
3/4" screw
PVC "D" ring
White glue
E-6000™ Glue
Screw Driver or needle nose pliers

See the Moving Chapter for more instructions, hints, tips, and ideas.

This is a great project for teaching children about engineering and teamwork. Bring a box of materials (pieces of wood, string, rubber bands, nails, screws, bottle caps) and tools. Let them design and build a catapult as much by themselves as possible. You may have to give them a little advice, but try to let them do as much of the work as possible. Do not show them a catapult prior to this activity. They have to use teamwork to design the catapult. Then they have to overcome design problems.

For the cap, I have found that the lids for bottled water are just the right size.

Anything can be used for ammunition. Dried beans, seeds, pebbles, pony beads, aluminum foil balls, or paper wads are good choices.

To make this project go faster in a meeting, cut the wood to the correct size, assemble the arm, and drill all of the holes in the base.

During the meeting do the following:

Copyright © 2002 Vincent Hale