i wanted to build a trebuchet but i didnt have the materials for something like that
so i thought up this little thing that can fling a tennis ball over 100 feet
its half trebuchet and half atalatl (if you even know what an atalatl is :D)
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Materials
1. 3 ft. Dowel rod that isnt too thick for your hands
2. Strong string (i used shoe lace)
3. Power drill with drill bit
4. Strong cloth stuff (i used old pair of pants, a shirt wouldnt work)
5. Metal clothes hanger
6. Key chain ring
7. Needle-Nose pliers (ones with wire cutter)
8. Gel type super glue (hot glue might work)
11. Tennis Balls
Step 2: Step One
Step one is to drill a hole in an end of your dowel rod about a one half to one inch deep.
Then take your needle nose pliers and cut out a piece of wire from your clothes hanger and glue it down into the hole with at least one inch of wire sticking out from the end of the hole.
Once your glue is set then angle the wire at the end of the dowel rod about 45 degrees.
Step 3: Step Two
The next thing to do is to get your cloth out and some scissors that will be able to cut it and cut out a rectangle 7 inches by 4
and then you should cut the corners off like i did in the picture
Step 4: Step Three
The next step is to poke holes in the corners of each side of the cloth and tie a little bit more than 2.5 feet (to compensate for knots, the more you have the more you have to tie knots with) to each hole.
Step 5: Step Four
This step is to tie your key chain ring to the end of one string securley.
Then tie the end of the other string to the dowel rod near the end.
NOTE: when you tie your knots make sure the lengths of string are equal when the ring is on the pin and the string is hanging down perpendicular to the dowel rod
Step 6: Tweaking and Firing
You will want to staple the pouch thing so that it can hold a ball better.
When you want to lauch the tennis ball the most simple and basic method to do it is just to hold the dowel rod with the tennis ball in the pouch and key chain ring on the pin on your shoulder and just swing like you would swing a sword trying to cut a water melon in half that is located above your head. and by that i mean you do not want to follow through all the way to the ground you want to stop probably 100 or so degrees from where it started. and there are other ways to do this you just need to think about it :D
And if the ball is either going straight up or too horizontal you will need to adjust the pin on the end of the dowel rod. and you might have to adjust the pin if you want to throw something heavier like a baseball. you should be able adjust it if your glue is strong enough
I will be posting a video on youtube of this in action and you will be able to see my and my friends method of flingin tennis balls. :D