This week we stayed with projectiles, but moved on to catapults. This was also a ton of fun, but the kids were a little bummed that we weren’t making life sized catapults. Weirdos…
The older kids were each given 20 popsicle sticks, 10 rubber bands, a cardboard base, and a spoon. They were also allowed to use masking tape, but there wasn’t a quantity limit on that.
I showed them a simple build, just to give them some ideas. Several of the kids stayed pretty close to that original design, but most of them tried to make a catapult that was more accurate and powerful. We had some really neat designs.
Just like with the rockets, as the kids would encounter problems, I would help them try to find solutions, It was up to them whether they wanted to incorporate those ideas and improve their design or not. The biggest issue they had with the catapults was that they shot high, rather than far. A few of the kids found solutions that adjusted their spoons to shoot closer to a horizontal than a vertical.
At the end of class we split into two teams, set up plastic cup city walls, and tried to take their cities with a limited number of shots. I think almost all of the kids overshot the walls! I couple figured out how to back up their catapults so that it would hit the walls when coming back down.
I had the younger class all do the same build for simplicity. They each received 10 popsicle sticks, 6 rubber bands, and a spoon.
I knew we would have lots of fun learning in this class, but I didn’t expect some of what we have covered. Dexterity was a big part of this build and at least half of the kids couldn’t wrap rubber bands around their popsicle sticks! Raising a house full of girls I guess I just took for granted that all kids know how to work rubber bands…. It was great to see the kids jump up to help each other as we discovered how hard wrapping sticks in rubber bands is!
We also ended this class with a siege on our plastic cup cities. I’m pretty sure the cities won both those battles. 🙂