60-90 Minutes | 1st – 8th Graders

catapultsThe catapults activity introduces the engineering design process whilst also giving a basic introduction to trajectory physics. Students learn about different types of catapults and their historical and modern uses. Students then design and build their own catapults using popsicle sticks, tape, rubber bands, and spoons. Launching at targets allows the students to learn the difference between accuracy and precision. Afterwards, the class reviews the results to see which catapult design worked the best!

Catapults Prezi

Catapults Handout


  • 4.3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out tests of one or more design features of a given model or prototype in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify which features need to be improved. Apply the results of tests to redesign a model or prototype

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