In this STEM project activity, we will develop a catapult using Ice cream sticks and water caps. This STEM project will help kids to understand physics principles practically. You can also make kids do some assignments using the Catapult.
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What is a catapult?
Catapult is a device used in ancient days in wars to launch heavy objects to break the walls or destroy the enemy territories. There are three different types of catapults namely, Ballista, Mangonel, and Trebuchet.
Ballista - It looks similar to a crossbow, where a rope is attached between two pieces of wood. A tension is created when the rope is pulled back and the created tension is used to launch the object.
Mangonel - It is one of the famous catapults and this the one that strikes in everyone’s mind when we say the word catapult. It consists of a long wooden arm with a bucket to hold the object. When the arm is pulled down a tension is created and when it is released it forces it to come to the upright position thus launching the object. Although it has more power it is the one with the least accuracy.
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Trebuchet - This catapult has a long arm balanced by the support and a short arm attached to the counterweight. A rope is attached to the long arm and it is pulled down until the long arm is raised in the air. With this, you can achieve max power and distance.
In this STEM project, we are going to build a Mangonel type catapult using ice cream sticks, water cap, and rubber bands. Join a stack of ice cream sticks (5) together and tie the rubber bands at the ends. This is done to give strength to the structure.
Place two sticks and put rubber bands at the end alone. This is the one which is going to act as the frame and long arm. Open the two sticks with rubber bands at the end and place the stack of 5 sticks in the middle.
Now wrap the sticks together using rubber bands to make it rigid and hold it together. Now paste a milk cap at the end of the long arm. The Mangonel-like catapult is now ready; now you can launch the objects by pushing down the long arm.
With this project, You can teach physics concepts to kids practically. You can also engage kids by providing them with assignments such as:
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