As part of a STEM project, teachers at Lincoln Elementary School had fifth graders design and build handmade catapults.
“We started it out as a STEM fair project as opposed to a science fair project where all the kids were given a challenge of building a catapult that would send a Unifix cube as far as they can,” said fifth-grade teacher Amy Speigl. Students then tested their catapults to see who could build the one that would launch the farthest.
Students were creative with the materials used to build the catapults that fit within a 12 by 12 inch area. Some used spoons, rubber bands, and simple tools for launching the cube.
Other students used more complex items. “After we got started they designed it and we did a first test here,” Speigl said. “Then they were able to take it home and modify it and change the materials or add to materials and make it to what they thought would go the farthest.”
Spiegl commented on the rising interest of the students. “They have been very excited,” she said. “I have seen some students who maybe normally don’t participate as much get really excited and are ready to shoot their catapult.”