Launching with a catapult is always an exciting STEM Activity.
We have tried several different projects that involve using a catapult as the launching device. These challenges create some great competitions as we add contests to the mix.
I have five catapulting devices to share with you!
5 Types of Catapult STEM Projects
These challenges are always a favorite when students see the activities on our agenda board for the week!
- Build a Catapult
- Pumpkin Launchers
- Basketball Goals
- Football Goals
- Launchers & Target
Are you ready to launch?
Design a Catapult
In this Catapult STEM Challenge students build a device using craft sticks and rubber bands.
Then we experiment! Teams change the angle of the device and keep data tables of distances for the flights. The data is used for competitions.
We compete for distance, flying over a large object, and accuracy.
TIP: That little white cup in the photo is a condiment paper cup glued to the craft stick.
In this challenge, students use the materials to design a launching device to toss a small candy pumpkin.
After the devices are made and tested we compete by knocking down rows of foam cups.
TIP: This challenge can be used with different projectiles.
- Christmas- red pom-poms
- Valentine’s Day- conversation hearts
- Easter- jelly beans
Basketball Goals and Catapults
Teams share the two tasks. One half of the team creates the basketball goal and the other makes the launching device.
The catapult is used to throw the ball through the hoop.
Yes, this STEM Challenge is very competitive! And yes every team wants to try the catapulting devices of all the other teams. We usually set up the goals and rotate to different tables.
TIP: I buy the netting for the goal by the yard at a craft store. Each team gets a small amount so you don’t need much for those little goals!
Football Goals and Catapult Devices
The Football Challenge is similar to the Basketball Activity.
Teams split into two parts to build the football goalpost and the launching device.
Then we try to kick the ball through the uprights. Also, VERY competitive!
TIP: You can see a small football in the photos. I thought that would be a great idea and the students loved it. But it was heavy and hard to launch. The best type of football is simply a ping-pong ball!
Launchers and Target
I love the format of this Catapulting Device challenge.
Two teams work together. One team builds the target. The other team builds the catapult.
The BONUS of this challenge is how the two teams must work together as they build. The target must be the right size. The catapult must launch at the right height.
TIP: Grab paper from your scrap box for use as the targets.
These exciting STEM Projects are sure-fire winners in the STEM Lab. Your students will love them all!
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