Catapult Launch

Catapult: Energy and Projectile Motion Project
Date Assigned: Februarys 26th
Mandatory Test Launch: March 6th
Date Due: Beginning class March 20th
Purpose: To augment knowledge of energy, energy storage mechanisms, and projectile motion
Objective: To construct a catapult utilizing elastic energy in order to hit a target
 Your launcher may not exceed 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5m (it may not include you as a part)
 You may work individually or in a group not exceeding two members
 You may not use a prebuilt catapult, or a catapult kit
Lab Safety:
 Use extreme caution; rattraps and catapults have the ability to break your fingers and/or blind
 In the event that you use power tools, do so only under parental supervision and wear safety
 Never launch/aim a projectile at anyone or anything other than open space
 Be aware that your projectile may misfire; take all safety precautions to protect your eyes and
fingers (not to mention the rest of you)
 Will rest flat
 Will rest 2 meters away from the origin line (the catapult may rest just behind the origin line, or
up to half a meter behind the origin line)
 See the sample target for dimensions and point allotments
 Carbon paper will be used to show the initial strike of the ball
 One Catapult per group
 One ball per group: golf ball or marble
 Concluding questions typed and stapled to the back of this packet.
Day of Practice Launch:
 Catapult should be all constructed, finished and ready to go at the start of class.
 You will measure out 2 m and set up your catapult and target.
 Shoot your projectile, look at results, and make alterations.
 Make sure your teacher sees at least one of your practice shots.
Day of the Launch:
 You may not alter or work on your model once the first group has started (only exception-see
practice launch)
 You will watch and be interested in everyone’s launch.
Your group will have two practice launches before the grading starts.
o The practice launches may be declined
o You will only have one minute from the first launch of your practice until your graded
launch must begin.
o You may make adjustments to your model during the test launch as long as it is during the
one minute allotment
Graded launch
o You will have three consecutive launches
o No alterations may be made to your launcher during the graded portion (if it breaks, it
o Your goal is to be accurate
o Delay of launch will result in deduction of points
Questions: Be specific, thorough and analytical when answering! Type your answers and attach them to
the back of this packet!
1. Sketch and label a diagram of your catapult. Make sure to include dimensions in your sketch.
2. What modifications did you make to your original catapult design? Give a rational as to why you
made these changes and what affect these changes had.
3. Explain the energy storage mechanisms of your catapult.
Possible Points
Catapult is ready at beginning of class on the test
launch day and actual launch day
Specifications are met
Three Shots
Concluding questions
Points awarded