CataBlast!

Introduction: CataBlast!

CataBlast is an accuracy-based game where you use a catapult to hurl a projectile at a target - which in this case is blocks - all the while adjusting the velocity to hit your aim. Other factors to consider include the trajectory of the projectile and the distance to the target. This game needs at least two or more players, but it will be better if you will play by teams. For you to win, you need to hit as many blocks as you can. Three missed shots, and you are out!

Physics Application

The physics behind the catapult is projectile motion; wherein the force it is put through after releasing the projectile is its own weight. The projectile motion refers to the motion of an object projected into the air. The object projected is called a projectile, while the path it goes through is called a trajectory.

The horizontal and vertical motion of the CataBlast can be analyzed - resulting in the equation for the distance to be travelled by the projectile given the initial velocity and the angle. The horizontal and vertical motion of the CataBlast can be examined independently. It can be seen as a two-dimensional projectile motion making air resistance negligible, meaning no acceleration happens on the horizontal axis and gravity only acts on the vertical axis. Kinematic Equations are used here to compute for the information of the object’s motion.

Youtube Link: https://youtu.be/3jFISPGebtM

Supplies

Catapult

1) Popsicle Sticks

2) Rubber Bands

3) Glue Gun and Glue Stick

Blocks

1) Hard Paper (Small Box Cut-Out - 2 inches by 2 inches)

Blaster Ball

Options:

1) Marble or Rubber Ball

2) Crumpled and Condensed Paper

Step 1: Creating the Base of the Catapult

Attach six (6) popsicle sticks together with rubber bands. Make sure that they are all aligned before tieing the rubber bands on each of its ends. Use the attached image as a guide.

Step 2: Creating the Arm of the Catapult

To create the arm that will propel the ball, you need one popsicle stick attached to the middle of the base that you previously created. To do this, take one rubber band, and securely wrap the edge of the popsicle stick to the base. By the end of this step, you should have created a letter ‘t’. Use the attached image as a guide.

Step 3: Creating the Frame of the Catapult

Take three (3) popsicle sticks. Attached two (2) of them to the edge of the base (side frames) and the other one (1) over the back frame. This will serve as a support for the catapult. To do the side frames, place the "t" in an upside-down position, then take two (2) popsicle sticks and attach them to each of the edges using a glue gun. Add the last Popsicle stick with a glue gun over the two side frames, making the backs frame. You should see a square by now. (Optional: You can add 2 smaller popsicle sticks over each side frame to increase the durability of the catapult)

Step 4: Creating the Tail of the Catapult

For extra durability, create a tail for the catapult. Attach a small piece of the popsicle stick to the middle of the back frame. Then, take a rubber band to connect the tail to the arm. Do not forget to glue the rubber band on the front side so it does not fall off.

Step 5: Creating the Bucket of the Catapult

Create the bucket by gluing pieces of the trimmed popsicle sticks together. Make sure that all the trimmed popsicle sticks are of the same size. The size will depend on your blaster ball.

Step 6: Play and Enjoy!

Finally. You are done! Start inviting your family and friends to join you in playing CataBLAST. Just simply aim, hit the blocks, and WIN!

References:

Beck, K. (2020, February 1). How Does a Catapult Work? https://sciencing.com/modern-uses-catapult-8597229.html

Lumen Learning. (n.d.). Projectile Motion. https://courses.lumenlearning.com/physics/chapter/3-4-projectile-motion/#:~:text=Projectile%20motion%20is%20the%20motion,path%20is%20called%20its%20trajectory.

LITTLE EXPLORERS-STEM ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS. (2017, December 31). How TO MAKE POPSICLE CATAPULT. http://www.stemlittleexplorers.com/en/make-popsicle-catapult/

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