Introduction: Craft Stick Catapult!

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The craft stick castle isn't going to invade itself! With a quick craft stick catapult, you'll be launching pom-poms over pipe cleaner parapets in no time. Whether you're using it to learn about levers simple machines, or want to join in a 2,400 year history of launching projectiles, the craft stick catapult can be your new favorite toy.

  • What: Craft Stick Catapult
  • Concepts: levers, simple machines, projectiles
  • Time: ~ 3 minutes for your first
  • Cost: ~ $0.05
  • Materials:
    • 6 rubber bands
    • 7 craft sticks
    • catapult basket (bottle cap, plastic egg, etc)
    • pom-poms or other projectiles
  • Tools:
    • hot glue gun

Let's launch!

Step 1: Prep Thy Fulcrum

Slap five craft sticks together, and rubber band them at both ends, wrapping the rubber bands until tight. You can add more or take some away later to test different build designs.

Step 2: Attach Thy Flinger

Take your two remaining craft sticks, and rubber band them at one end. Wedge the fulcrum in the middle so they splay apart. You can change the lever length of your catapult by moving your fulcrum to different positions. This is great for learning about leverage.

Step 3: Secureth in Place

Use two rubber bands to make an "X" around the entire flinger and fulcrum. Leave it loose enough so that you can change the lever length when you want to.

Step 4: Attach Thy Basket and Launch!

Be it plastic egg, bottle cap, clay, or folded paper, hot glue it to the end of the flinger. Load it up with some projectiles, pull back, aim (not at humans or animals), and fire away!

After you fling a few pom-poms around, try making some targets out of paper or cups, and adjust the fulcrum height and lever length to play with different designs.

Which lever length works the best? How does it change the flight path of the pom-pom?

Have fun, and keep exploring!