Welcome back to Community STEM with a brand new challenge. This week we are going to explore the world of catapults.
When I hear the word catapult, I think of my 6th grade history class where we studied the Middle Ages. Those weapons were used for hurling stones during battle. Today, catapults are used in many different situations. Sometimes the military uses catapults to launch planes on aircraft carriers. They are also used as popular thrill rides at amusement parks. At Carowinds (located on the NC and SC line) there is one such ride called the SlingShot. A pair of cables catapult a two-person capsule nearly 300-feet into the air – nearly as high as the Statue of Liberty – at speeds up to 60 mph. After some brief weightlessness, riders will zoom back toward the ground, often rotating head-over-heels and bouncing up and down until they come to rest at the launch point. Sounds like fun but believe me, you might lose your lunch.
A catapult is a device used to launch or throw something a great distance without electricity. There are many types of catapults, including trebuchets, mangonels, and ballistas. A trebuchet is one of the most powerful types. The way it is built gives it lots of potential energy. When the catapult drops its load, kinetic energy goes to the object being thrown, and that object (or projectile) is launched with a lot of force.
CHALLENGE: Your challenge will be to design and create a catapult to launch a large marshmallow and knock over plastic cups that are placed at least 3 feet away. You may use any of the following materials:
EXTENSIONS: Use the science of catapults to solve an every day problem.
DISCOVERY EDUCATION DIGITAL MEDIA: