Here's my latest activity for my science workshops, now tried and tested in four classrooms:
Let’s make it move: Let’s make a cuppapult
- Plastic coffee cup
- 5 rubber bands
- 1 teaspoon
- Several missiles made from a piece of newspaper, wrapped and taped into a small ball
- A paper plate
What to do:
All catapults have at least one thing in common: tension. The better it’s utilized, the more effective the catapult. Wrap four or five rubber bands around the container, an inch or so beneath the top.
Insert a teaspoon beneath the rubber bands. The tip of the handle should be just below the rubber bands.
How to launch a paper missile:
Place your paper missile on the cup of the teaspoon, pull back - and release. Note that the rim of the container forms a dimple that allows the spoon to bend back easily every time.
- Place a paper plate away from the cuppapult. Can you launch your missile and land on the plate?
- Make a paper tower. Can you knock it down with a missile from your cuppapult?
- Lay a playing card several feet away. How close can you get to the target?
Now try making a tinapult from a tin can, a popsicle stick and a bottle top – using the same method as above.
Glue the bottle top on the end of the popsicle stick. Put your missile in the cup, flick the stick, and watch it fly!!
- Is it better than the cuppapult?