Sunday, April 10, 2011

Theory Thursday - Siege Catapult

Well, what can I say? I'm not as efficient with my posts as Erika is. This Theory Thursday is from a week ago. My apologies for the delay, but let's move past that and on to the good stuff. 

As I mentioned in the post about the Dinosaur Museum, we stopped on the way home and bought some books. One of which was a book titled "Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction: Build Implements of Spitball Warfare". As a father of two boys I knew I had to have this book.
Of course when Jake saw the book he got excited. When I told him that we were going to build something he began jumping in place. I asked him what he wanted to build. His answer, a simple point to the picture on the front of the book. Great! He has to pick one of the harder models to build. Oh well.
The Siege Catapult requires:
9 craft sticks (popsicle sticks)
masking Tape
4 clothes pins
7+ rubber bands
3 small binder clips
1 plastic spoons
ammo: mini marshmallows



When I got all the supplies together and started taking pictures the kids came to the table and got all excited. Alyssa said, "This is gonna be so cool!"

I don't think I'm going to type out all the steps here, but I'll try to get the basic idea across to you. First you separate your sticks into sets of three and tape them in stacks. One stack gets tape right at the ends and the other two half an inch from the end. You'll notice in the pictures that ours are all taped the same. That's because Daddy didn't finish reading the directions on the page. So, yes, they were undone and re-taped properly. 
Bet you can't guess who did each one.
You then clip some clothes pins on to two sets of sticks and another set of clothes pins between that and the other set of sticks. Then wrap a bunch of rubber bands around the bottom... It was at this point, when I was having trouble getting the second set of pins to stay in place that Jake informed me, "Daddy, this is not so easy." Boy was he right! How did this guy ever decide this is was the best way to build this thing? Add a binder clip here, one on this piece, another on the spoon. Tape the spoon to this clip. Put the rubber band around here and here and.... viola! You have a functional siege catapult. Perfect for little green army men warfare. 

Now that we actually have the catapult, let's launch some marshmallows!

Up till now it was just fun. Then Mommy said we had to turn it into science. Thus the orange. We researched the difference in flight if the spoon was pulled all the way back or if we only pulled it back halfway. Also what happened if we tried a heavier object. Believe it or not this little catapult launched the orange across the table completely clearing the opposite edge.

All in all the kids enjoyed watching Daddy struggle to get the clothes pins attached in just the right way. And then to have permission to launch marshmallows across the living was just awesome to them. Mind you we went through half a bag of marshmallows not knowing where they were all going before we realized that Zac was eating them all. Then it became a race to retrieve them before he got to them. But we did turn it into science and discover some of the laws of force and angles and stuff.


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1 comment:

  1. I'm glad Zac did his fair share of the project!!

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