Today’s STEAM Activity is making an Easter Egg Catapult. This can also catapult marshmallows, small balls, or pompoms, but it’s Easter week so why not use those plastic Easter eggs we have lying around!
Building the catapult with your kids provides great opportunities for counting and fine motor skills development. And launching the eggs is teaching your kids about Energy!
- 9 popsicle sticks
- 6 rubber bands
- 1 plastic spoon
- Plastic Easter eggs or marshmallows, small balls, etc for launching
- Count and stack 7 popsicle sticks
- Tightly wrap a rubber band around each end of the popsicle stick stack
- Count and stack the remaining 2 popsicle sticks
4. Tightly wrap a rubber band around one end only of the 2 stick stack
5. Pull open the two popsicle sticks at the untied end and slide the 7 stick stack in between the two sticks perpendicularly, creating a cross
6. Secure the cross with a rubber band, crisscrossing it as it wraps around the stacks (see photo for reference)
7. Place the head of the spoon over the top popsicle stick then secure at the top and bottom with a rubber band
8. Place an egg in the catapult spoon
9. With 1 hand holding down the 7 stick stack, use the other hand to pull back the spoon, then quickly release to launch the egg
10. Keep launching eggs, see if you can adjust how you pull the spoon to make the egg fly higher or longer distances
STEAM CONCEPTS LEARNED:
- Engineering: Catapult physics is very complicated and I won’t attempt to explain it all here. In simplest terms, the rubber bands store energy when you pull back the spoon, and then the energy from the rubber bands is released at once when you release the spoon and the projectile is launched forward
- Math: Count the popsicle sticks and the eggs as you launch them
- More ways to learn: measure distance the eggs travel, set up “targets” to try to knock down with your eggs
My kids played with their catapults for at least an hour, and that’s a win for me! Keeping the kids busy for hour blocks at a time is challenging these days, so I’d call this a success!
Have you ever made a catapult before? Are you going to try this now?