Who knew STEM and physics could be so much fun? We did! Want to learn how to make a catapult with popsicle sticks? This Popsicle stick catapult design is an AWESOME STEM activity for kids of all ages! Exploring physics has never been so exciting for kids because everyone loves to launch stuff into the air. A catapult made out of popsicle sticks is the perfect kids’ activity for simple physics.
For this project, we used our engineering skills to actually build the popsicle stick catapults. We used science to test how far the catapults flung the items we chose.
Which Popsicle stick catapult fired the farthest? Great start to finish STEM activity with simple physics science play at the end!
POPSICLE STICK CATAPULT SUPPLIES
- 10 Jumbo Popsicle Sticks
- Rubber Bands
- Firing Power (marshmallows, pompoms, pencil top erasers)
- Plastic Spoon (optional
- Bottle Cap
- Sticky Dots
HOW TO MAKE A CATAPULT WITH POPSICLE STICKS
STEP 1: Make predictions. Which object will fly the farthest? Why do you think one will fly farther than the other?
STEP 2: Hand out supplies to each individual or in small groups, and build a Popsicle stick catapult following the instructions below.
Read more about the science behind the catapult and simple ways to create a catapult science experiment below!
STEP 3: Test and measure how far each item goes when flung from the catapult. Record results.
Adult supervision and assistance is highly recommended when using scissors.
You will want to use a pair of scissors to make two v notches on either side of two jumbo craft or Popsicle sticks (in the same place on both sticks). Use the photo below as a guide for where to make your notches.
Adults: This is a great step to prep ahead of time if you are making these popsicle stick catapults with a large group of kids.
Once you have made your notches in two of the sticks, set them aside! Take the remaining 8 craft sticks and stack them one on top of the other. Wind a rubber band tightly around each end of the stack. Go ahead and push one of the notched sticks through the stack under the top stick of the stack.
At this point flip your partially made popsicle stick catapult over so that the stick you just pushed in is on the bottom of the stack.
Lay the second notched stick on top of the stack and secure the two popsicle sticks together with a rubber band as shown below. The V notches that you cut help to keep the rubber band in place.
Create more leverage with your catapult by pushing the stack of popsicle sticks towards the notched ends connected by the rubber band. Read about the science behind this below!
VARIATION: You can also make a popsicle stick catapult with a spoon which is especially great for holding objects like plastic Easter eggs or fake eyeballs. Enjoy these other popsicle sticks catapults ideas!