Mini Catapult Projects for Kids

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Introduction: Mini Catapult Projects for Kids

About: I'm a writer, maker, and educator who's on a mission to better the world through hands-on engineering projects. Check out my work: www.stem-inventions.com/

Catapults - a classic and exciting engineering project that introduces students to fundamental ideas in physics and engineering like energy transformation, trajectory, and structural strength.

You can find the lesson plan, 1-page project sheet, and more project ideas at STEM-Inventions.com

Step 1: Materials

The Engineering Creation Kit has everything you need for this project and many more from STEM Inventions.

When you make a purchase through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission at zero cost to you.

Step 2: Class 3 Catapult

To fire:

  • Load the projectile
  • Firmly hold down the front of the catapult
  • Pinch the cube under the basket and pull down, then release

Step 3: Class 1 Catapult

To fire:

  • Load the projectile
  • Hold down the base from inside the support structure
  • Firmly and quickly press on the lever. Do not strike the lever with a fist or other object or the hinge may break

Step 4: Slingshot

To fire:

  • Load the projectile
  • Firmly hold the front of the slingshot, or grasp the front of the slingshot as shown in the video
  • Pull back on the sling and release

Step 5: Advanced Ideas

A straightforward advancement of the Catapult project is to add two baskets instead of one.

A wacky design, dubbed the Confused Catapult, incorporates two catapult arms onto one frame. Making catapult arms of different lengths allows the user to enjoy a wider range of trajectory options.

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    31 Comments

    0
    noles
    noles

    6 years ago

    this is really cool

    i wish it was buyable

    0
    olgamawougbe
    olgamawougbe

    7 years ago

    Hi - could you please list the materials for the catapult? For some reason the materials list shows up like this on this page:

    {"context":{"you-image":{},"spinner":{"jQuery110202310703694010483":521},"location":{"href":"http://media.nbcmontana.com/editInstructable/publish/EF6GG4YH173P8OO","origin":"http://media.nbcmontana.com","protocol":"http:","username":"","password":"","host":"www.instructables.com","hostname":"www.instructables.com","port":"","pathname":"/editInstructable/publish/EF6GG4YH173P8OO","search":"","hash":""},"jQuery110202310703694010483":1,"gtmHasClickListenerTag":true,"b":{"sizzle-1444572116521":{"parentNode":["9933 46",149]}},"h":{}},"selector":"#editor-Object-185"}

    Thank you!

    0
    olgamawougbe
    olgamawougbe

    7 years ago

    Hi - could you please list the materials for the catapult? For some reason the materials list shows up like this on this page:

    {"context":{"you-image":{},"spinner":{"jQuery110202310703694010483":521},"location":{"href":"http://media.nbcmontana.com/editInstructable/publish/EF6GG4YH173P8OO","origin":"http://media.nbcmontana.com","protocol":"http:","username":"","password":"","host":"www.instructables.com","hostname":"www.instructables.com","port":"","pathname":"/editInstructable/publish/EF6GG4YH173P8OO","search":"","hash":""},"jQuery110202310703694010483":1,"gtmHasClickListenerTag":true,"b":{"sizzle-1444572116521":{"parentNode":["9933 46",149]}},"h":{}},"selector":"#editor-Object-185"}

    Thank you!

    0
    LanceMakes
    LanceMakes

    7 years ago

    Thanks for asking - I've added a materials section

    2
    dantey8a
    dantey8a

    7 years ago

    This is one of the things I have to do for a project that's due I think in 3 weeks, better get started.I think I'm gonna go with the slingshot my personal tool of mischief (^w^)

    0
    dantey8a
    dantey8a

    Reply 7 years ago

    where do I find the instructions for the slingshot?

    0
    JenH1
    JenH1

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome! the projectiles really fly far!

    0
    bdoorah
    bdoorah

    8 years ago on Introduction

    i love all your projects. It's really awesome.do you teach simple machicens in your projects? pleas give me a hint. i am trying to figure it out :-(

    0
    cskinner7
    cskinner7

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Love all of these! Made them all in preparation for a class I am teaching. I figured out how to modify the Lever-pult into Torsion catapult by gluing regular cubes at the pivot point to your frame, and gluing drilled cubes below them. You can string a loop of nylon string through both holes (and the holes on the swing arm) and hold them with 1/2 craft sticks on both sides: Wind them up and you get a powerful torsion launch.

    Also working on gravity swinging catapult and a trebuchet based on your framework. Pictures to come.

    0
    LanceMakes
    LanceMakes

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Hey, glad to hear that you've made good use of these lessons. I'd love to see some pictures of how you redesigned!

    0
    kurtwied
    kurtwied

    8 years ago on Introduction

    all your projects are awesome!!:) i'm going to show my friends. where do you get the cubes you use? do you get them in large or small amounts?

    To get corks, do you just save them from bottles or do you by them en masse from somewhere?

    0
    kevmcd
    kevmcd

    9 years ago

    Quite simply splendid!

    0
    yapoyo
    yapoyo

    10 years ago on Introduction

    I like this very much. How can I make this without the craft cubes? Are they really necessary?