Christopher Strider Cook edited this page Jun 8, 2015 · 1 revision

Sparks Catapults and Trebuchets


To make various kinds of Catapults and Trebuchets (a kind of catapult) and learn about force and propulsion.

Within each lesson are story books and other age appropriate written material , that children can read or for read aloud.

'''Note:''' Each activity is age appropriate. Student may need adult assistance with a couple of steps of the Indoor Slingshot. The pencil hole in the toilet tissue roll and the two small slits both require fine motor control. This is not a problem for this age group. Fine motor skills will vary.


'''Catapult:''' A catapult is a device used to throw or hurl a [ projectile] a great distance without the aid of explosive devices—particularly various types of ancient and medieval [ siege engines].

'''Trebuchet:''' A trebuchet is a type of [ catapult] that works by using the energy of a raised counterweight to throw a projectile.

'''Force:''' In physics, a force is any influence that causes an object to undergo a certain change, either concerning its movement, direction, or geometrical construction.

'''Propulsion:''' a means of creating force leading to movement.

Stored or Potential Energy: the energy that is created when a catapult or trebuchet is loaded, before any action occurs

Kinetic Energy: the energy that is created when the catapult or trebuchet is fired; moving energy


Activities are ordered in increasing concept and complexity.

'''Indoor Slingshot'''


'''Spoon Launcher'''

'''Popsicle Catapult'''

variation: %ATTACHURL%/popscicle_stick_catapults.pdf

'''Trebuchet Kit'''

This kit is beautiful and easily assembled. Kids will need adult help. Oakland Ballistics has given us a bulk discount in the past, so make sure you ask!

'''Note:''' This kit is better suited to older kids, and requires a lot of glue-drying time and tiny pieces put together. Maybe purchase one for the group to assemble together, or for the leaders to assemble and demonstrate. My Sparks Leaders assembled one, and samples of a trebuchet and a ballista (like a cross bow) to show the kids and let them play with as a kick-off to this badge segment.

Other projects can be found in the Attachments section of this page, below the comments.

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