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Build a catapult that transforms the potential energy of a twisted rubber band into kinetic energy. Experiment with design variations so that you can hit a target with a projectile. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Activity write-up only, images are unavailable.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Demonstration, Model


Materials List (per student)

  • 1 wire coat hanger
  • 2 or more sturdy (1/4” wide) rubber bands
  • paper plate
  • marker or pen
  • pliers
  • 1 plastic spoon
  • 1 kitchen sponge
  • scissors


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Gravity
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Acceleration
      • Projectile Motion
      • Newton's Laws

Informal Categories

  • Model Building


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • TryScience