Ready, Aim, Marshmallows! Activity

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Updated on Mar 30, 2016

Science and engineering is awesome! Give your fifth grader an awesome task with this homemade marshmallow catapult activity. Besides being delicious and hilarious, your young scientist will get to learn about physics concepts, such as energy and motion!

What You Need:

  • One inch rubber band
  • Marshmallows
  • Electrical tape
  • Three pencils
  • Hole punch
  • Plastic spoon
  • Markers
  • Thin shoe box
  • Ruler
  • Craft knife

What You Do:

Now you have a homemade catapult! Put marshmallows or other small objects on the spoon, and have your child gently pull it back. When the rubber band extends, it has a lot of potential energy, and when he lets go of the spoon, this becomes kinetic energy!

  1. Cut one end of the shoe box so that there's a one inch piece at the bottom.
  2. From that side, put a dot 1 inch from the top and 2.5 inches from the back wide side of the box.
  3. Punch a hole through that dot big enough that a pencil can stick through.
  4. Do steps 2 and 3 on the other wide end. Put a pencil through the holes. Put another hole where the other pencil will touch the bottom of the shoe box. Refer to the photo.
  5. Have your young scientist tape the handle of the spoon to another pencil. Then, tape this pencil to the first pencil. Refer to the photo.
  6. Put the rubber band through the bottom hole. Insert the last pencil into the rubber band loop underneath the shoe box so that the band doesn't escape. Loop the band over the second pencil.