Project Goal: Students build and modify a simple trigger-release cork launcher that fires at least 10 feet
Design Variables: Number of rubber bands, length of the launcher, number of combined launchers
- Trajectory is the path that an object follows through the air or other fluid
- Trigger is a device that sets off a mechanism
Prep: Carefully cut corks into quarters (2 per student)
Safety: Always aim cork launchers away from people, even when unloaded.
Step 1: Materials
For the basic model, you'll need:
6 craft sticks
3 craft cubes
Step 2: Frame and trigger
In the first picture, the sticks appear to be long shallow steps, descending from right to left. This is necessary because the rubber band will be released from right to left. If the edge of the craft stick is exposed, it may catch the rubber band and cause the shooter to not work properly.
Two cubes are placed close together on one end to support the trigger. This will make more sense in the next step.
Finally, the trigger (clothespin) is glued on.
Step 3: Attach the rubber band
The rubber band that is used to fire the cork is simply taped to the front of the shooter.
Bonus! If you choose not to tape the rubber band to the front, then you'll have a rubber band launcher!
Step 4: Load and fire!
Use a utility knife or other tool to cut a piece of cork into a disk shape. This will help tremendously with the aerodynamics of cork.
To load: use two fingers to pull the rubber band back into the open trigger. Close the trigger, then let go of the rubber band. Insert the cork disk between the strands of taut rubber band.
Launching is easy: just aim and push the clothespin!
Try to limit the number of cork disks the students can take home