I knew that I wanted to do a series of catapults with the kids but we didn't have the supplies on hand for the more advanced designs. This project was the result of a day's worth of trial and error. The only supplies I used were the ones I had on hand and the rubber bands I used even had to be scrounged up from other programs' supplies. I was surprised at how well it worked and the kids loved them.
The pictures I took here were originally intended for future tech lab folks since I am about to leave my job to go to law school down in Arizona. But we've recently gotten a lot of new kids in the program who have been interested in making the catapults. We did this project a while ago but I still have my example out and they've wanted to do it, too. So I decided to go ahead and post this tutorial for them and for anyone else who might be interested in putting the spare office supplies they've got lying around to good use.
So far we have successfully run the program with my older kids as well as the elementary age kids at one of our other centers. It takes about fifteen to twenty minutes for me to make one and about forty-ish minutes for the kids. (And if a project can keep a middle schooler's attention for that long you know it has to be good!) It takes longer depending on the size of the group, too.
Okay, on with the instructable!