Catapults in Fourth Grade

As a culmination of the unit of study on simple machines, students at the James H. Bean School were asked to build a lever that would be entered into a competition. After a beautiful walk on the nature trail collecting materials to build with, the students then designed “catapults” that could: 1) launch a cube the furthest distance; 2) launch a cube into a box from at least four feet away the most times out of three. They collected data, modified their designs, and tested each modification until the teams of two scientists had one that was ready for the competition. Starting with walks on the nature trail and ending with a fun afternoon of launching cubes, the fourth graders had a fantastic time being little engineers. Pictured are the various catapults built and winners of the accuracy and distance competitions.

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