Cotton Ball Catapult Force And Motion Science Experiment
In this fun and easy science experiment, we’re going to explore and investigate force and motion by building a cotton ball catapult.
- Cotton balls (you can also use marshmallows or some other soft item to launch)
- 4 rubber bands
- Plastic cap from a water, milk, or two liter soda bottle
- 7 Popsicle sticks
- Paint (optional)
- Pile up 5 of the popsicle sticks in a stack on top of each other.
- Then use two of the rubber bands to tie the ends and hold the sticks together.
- Now put 2 of the popsicle sticks together and wrap a rubber band around one of the ends to hold the sticks together.
- Separate the 2 popsicle sticks gently and do so in a way that keeps the rubber band from sliding off the one end.
- Position the pile of 5 popsicle sticks in between the 2 popsicle sticks you have pried open.
- Utilizing the remaining rubber band, wrap it around the two open popsicle sticks and the stack of five popsicle sticks to secure the catapult together.
- Now glue a plastic cap to the end of the popsicle stick to function as a holder for the cotton ball to be launched.
- Press down on the top popsicle stick and let go to launch the cotton ball from the plastic cap.
How it Works:
The cotton ball catapult works because energy can be converted from one type to another and transferred from one item to another. There is potential energy stored in your catapult when you push it down. When you release the catapult, the potential energy is converted to kinetic energy (motion) and transferred to the cotton ball.
Make This A Science Project:
Try using different materials and build a larger catapult. Try launching different shaped items that weigh the same and observe any differences. Try adjusting the amount or size of rubber bands.