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MRS.

HEAVERN GRADE 8 PHYSICAL SCIENCE


CATAPULT PROJECT
In this fun, catapult activity, students will work collaboratively and
independently to solve an exciting engineering challenge. This project
will allow students to experience the scientific process. In addition to
applying Physics and Engineering skills you will also be required to
systematically collect and analyze data, and then use data to improve
your design. Students will also be introduced to the engineering
process, which they will use to create a catapult that accurately and
consistently launches a projectile onto a target.
LESSON OBJECTIVES:
- Students will be able to describe and employ the engineering
design process
- -Students will design and build catapults using simple, everyday
materials
- -Students will work collaboratively and independently to solve a
specified problem by creating technology.
- Students will understand the concepts of projectile motion,
accuracy and precision.

GRADING
- Students will be graded on the overall construction of their
catapults and the effectiveness of their modifications.
- In addition , students will need to effectively and accurately
collect data from several trials.
- Each student will be expected to produce his/her own supporting
evidence. Although you will be working in small groups,
plagiarism of any kind will not be accepted and will result in a 0
being awarded.

GRADING
PRODUCE A PROPOSAL 10%
MAKE A MODEL OF CATAPULT 40 %
SUCCESSFUL TESTING AND DATA COLLECTION 10%
SUPPORTING EVIDENCE 40%
(outlining research)

PART 1 : DESIGNING YOUR CATAPULT


Develop a set of blue prints for the construction of your
catapult. Your blueprint needs to show an accurate
representation of your design as shown from either a top view or
side view. Your blueprint should basically be a prototype
displayed as a diagram with a written proposal of the design of
your catapult. Remember, just because you sketch a particular
design, doesnt mean that you have to build or commit to that
design. As you begin the process, you may find that you need to
tweak certain elements of your design based on functionality.
Remember that you can build your device however you would
like, but it must be free standing.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT


When constructing your catapult you need to keep in mind the
overall purpose.
EFFICIENCY:
-How difficult is your catapult to load and release?
-How quickly can your catapult be reloaded?
DISTANCE:
-What angle do you need your catapult to release your object to
obtain maximum distance?
ACCURACY:
-Can you adjust your catapults tension to launch your object
different distances?

SUPPORTING EVIDENCE: REVIEW AND DISCUSS


LEARNING EXPERIENCE

ASSESSMENT: Each student will hand in a two -page paper


summarizing the catapult project. Each student should be
keeping a journal or notebook throughout the entire activity. You
can draw and write your brainstorming ideas at the beginning
and record results, observations and ideas throughout the
remainder of the project.
The following questions should be answered in your
paper:
-Explain the function of your catapult. Explain the various
components of your project. What was your group attempting to
achieve with its catapult design?
-How did the catapult set the object in motion?
-What were some challenges you encountered and the solutions
you designed for these challenges?
-What problems did you encounter with your first design that you
had to change after you practiced launching your projectile?
-What were some changes or modifications that you had to
make?
-What helped the catapult work as well as it did?
-What could you have done to make the catapult better?
-What did this activity teach you about motion and forces?