Introduction: Simple Catapult

About: I'm a librarian and geek who likes to make stuff. I create clothing, home decor, jewellery, and accessories out of anything and everything. I have a room full of yarn and 10 different types of glue.

My colleague designed this simple catapult for our Maker Club kids to make. We work at a public library, so I've blurred the kids faces to protect identities. I also didn't have time to take photos of the catapult construction, so bear with my bad drawings.

It's super easy though, I promise.

Step 1: Supplies

  • A clear disposable tape dispenser (like Scotch brand tape).
  • Two paper clips with large outside curve pulled out 90 degrees (see pictures).
  • Half of a credit card, cut lengthwise (see picture). Super heavy cardstock may also work.
  • Elastic band
  • Duct tape
  • A plastic spoon with the lower half of the handle snapped or cut off.

Step 2: Assembly

Follow the photos as shown.

The strip of card gets folded in half. One half rests against the top of the tape dispenser, and the other against the spoon handle.

Sandwich the spoon, one paper clip, and one half of the card together. Then wrap tape around to secure (see picture).

Attach to the tope of the tape dispenser via the other half of the card and some duct tape.

Tape the other paper clip in place as per the photo.

The elastic band hooks over both paper clip "hooks." It should be taut. If it isn't, knot it off to the right length.

Step 3: Shoot Away!

We like to use marshmallows as they are the safest.

Make it extra fun and make it a contest! It also gets the kids thinking about the physics involved and how they can make alterations to increase the arc and velocity.