Build Your Own Catapult

Using only two sets of wooden chopsticks, a rubber band, and duct tape, we were able to make a catapult that launches small objects over 20 feet away! If you have wood glue or someone to help you with hot glue, you can use that instead of the tape.

Here are some instructions that show how we made ours. See if you make your own design!

Step 1:  Using two chopsticks, make a rectangular base:

To join the corners, hold the two wooden pieces together and carefully wrap a strip of masking tape around the corner as shown in this picture:

Step 2: Break two short pieces (same length) and one longer piece of the second pair of chopsticks and tape them to the base as shown in the picture below. Make sure you tape them securely.

Step 3: Join the other ends of the sticks you taped together to form a 3-dimensional triangle. This structure will provide the strength to hold the catapult arm in place.

Step 4: Build your arm. Cut a longer stick to a suitable size (you can experiment with how long this should be) and make a cup out of tape on one end. I glued this cup to the stick, but you can also use the tape.

Step 5: Attach the catapult arm to the frame and tie a rubber band around the catapult arm and the top of the triangle. Experiment with how tight you tie this rubber band to adjust how far the catapult launches.

Step 6: Storm the castle! Try shooting small objects (pebbles, pencil erasers). You can change the angle the catapult shoots from by sitting it on a notebook that you can tilt.

What other Catapult Designs Can You Make?

Here are the only rules:  Use 2 sets of wooden chopsticks (find them from a restaurant or cafe), masking take/glue, and 1 rubber band.

What can you change to get the catapult to shoot further?

Take a picture (create a youtube video) of your best design and share it in the comments. Share it with us and your friends!

How does it Work?

Check our our catapult science page!


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