Better, Faster, Stronger: We redesigned the Popsicle Spoon Catapult
You’ve probably seen the classic Popsicle and Spoon Catapult — they’re all over the internet! It’s a very simple machine that’s great for introducing kids to STEM concepts and physics.
We built our first one from a design found at the Magic House’s Maker Workshop way before noticing them online.
Seriously. If you’ve ever made one of these, you’ll notice that they fire pretty much straight up. Annoying, right?
Tinkering with Basic Catapult Design
Mitch and I scoured the web for a better popsicle & spoon design, but it seems that many STEM & craft bloggers are either happy copying the same dang design everyone else has done…or moved on to different styles of catapults that are WAAAAAAY more complex.
We love some of those complex designs, and will be experimenting with a few very soon!
Here’s how we fixed the rather lame-o Spoon-a-pult.
It’s not that radical. We just turned the catapult on it’s edge so it has a vertical orientation, then added a stable base.
This design does call for hot glue — I don’t think you can get this secure with just rubber bands anymore. Hot glue is fast to set and has a bit of flex to it.
- 7 Popsicle sticks (can be bought new as craft sticks)
- 1 Spoon
- 2 Rubber bands
- Hot Glue
- Hot Glue Gun
- Stack 4 sticks, then glue the spoon in the center of the top stick. The bottom of the spoon should line up wth the edge of the stick.
- Glue another popsicle stick on top.
- Secure the ends with rubber bands. You'll need to wrap the rubber band around several times to make it nice and tight.
- Form a triangle shaped base from two more sticks & glue the catapult in place, with the spoon perpendicular to the base.
- Allow glue to harden before using the catapult.
Crumpled balls of foil and small marshmallows make excellent projectiles for this style of catapult.
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