Students Take Aim with Simple Machines

Catapult Challenge-6

Winter Break is fast approaching, but students of Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Loar remain focused on their lessons. Among their assignments is the challenge to design the best use of a lever to move an object; more specifically, designing a catapult to launch a marshmallow at a target.

The students were challenged to build a catapult using craft sticks and rubber bands. Mr. Kennedy’s students also used a spoon to hold the load (i.e., a marshmallow), while Mr. Loar’s students opted for a washer glued to a craft stick. Catapults were then used to launch marshmallows at a target.

Why rubber bands? What about glue—how would that change the catapult’s performance?

More importantly, how does the distance from the fulcrum to the load alter the trajectory of the marshmallow?

So how did the students do?

Mr. Loar’s classes won the catapult challenge with an average of 76.25 points per student. Mr. Kennedy’s classes had an average of 68.33 points per student. Nine students out of 17 total students individually scored over 80 points.

Winter break may be only hours away, but know that our students remain focused on their studies, (while having a bit of fun, as well!)

 

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