This STEAM activity incorporates physics and engineering to show you how to launch peppermints through the air.
MAKING EDUCATION FUN
To create a catapult, you will need some physics and engineering skills. The basic idea behind a catapult is to hurl a projectile through the air without using explosives. Catapults do this by using kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is the energy something has by being in motion. In this craft, you create kinetic energy by pushing your popsicle stick lever down and then releasing it. How far your peppermint launches can be affected by the speed at which you release the popsicle stick lever and the angle you choose (i.e., how many popsicle sticks you stack in step #1). A slow release of the popsicle stick lever and using fewer popsicle sticks in your stack will result in a closer landing site. A quick release of the popsicle stick lever and increasing the amount of popsicle sticks used in your stack will give you a further landing site. This is because a higher popsicle stick stack will result in a greater buildup of kinetic energy as you press down the lever. Using this knowledge, try different combinations to see how far or close you are able to launch your peppermint!
Popsicle Sticks (7)
Rubber Bands (3)
Bottle Cap (1)
1. Gather five popsicle sticks and stack them. Keep in mind that the number of popsicle sticks used in this stack will affect the trajectory of your peppermint candy.
2. Take a single popsicle stick and slide it between the bottom two popsicle sticks in your stack. The single stick should be almost entirely through the stack.
3. Rubberband both ends of the stack.
4. Take another single stick and place it on top of the stack. Line up the two single sticks and secure them together with a rubber band.
5. Once completed, glue the bottle cap onto the top single stick. The bottle cap will hold your peppermint.
6. Hold down the catapult with one hand. With your other hand, gently pull down the side with the bottle cap. Release when you are ready and watch your peppermint fly!
Finish this craft and looking for another? Create these Corn Husk Dolls and learn about the Iroquois legend behind them!