This project is so quick and simple that I usually build a cork shooter right in front of my students during the lecture. As I build I explain how the craft sticks are glued end to end in a line. The sticks are glued one on top of the other, forming what looks like shallow and long steps. This is important because the rubberband must slide easily along the sticks. If the rubberband catches the edge of a stick, the shooter may not work well.
A line of craft sticks glued together is rather bendable, but two lines of sticks connected with cubes is very rigid. I demonstrate this by trying to bend a line of sticks compared to bending the finished shooter.
The rest of the construction is simple. Finally, show students how to load and fire the shooter a couple of times. Briefly talk about how the angle at which the cork shooter is pointed will effect the trajectory. I sometimes reference the Angry Birds game since most kids have played that and will understand what you mean. As always, ask if the students have any questions and then begin!
- Students will understand the importance of rigidity during the lecture.
- Students will improve their motor skills and will further comprehend how the cork shooter functions during construction.
- Students will experientially comprehend how the cork shooter works using the stored energy of the rubberband, as well as their spatial reasoning skills while using the cork shooter.
Step 1: Materials
6 craft sticks
3 craft cubes