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Build your own launcher and targets! Create a fun, creative game with just 1 sheet of paper, tape and scissors.

No printer? No problem! You can follow all instructions on-screen.


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The project meets these NGSS standards:


Apply scientific and engineering ideas to design, evaluate, and refine a device that minimizes the force on a macroscopic object during a collision. Examples of evaluation and refinement could include determining the success of the device at protecting an object from damage and modifying the design to improve it. Examples of a device could include a football helmet or a parachute. Assessment is limited to qualitative evaluations and/or algebraic manipulations.


Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.


Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.


Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.


Use mathematical representations of Newton’s Law of Gravitation and Coulomb’s Law to describe and predict the gravitational and electrostatic forces between objects. Emphasis is on both quantitative and conceptual descriptions of gravitational and electric fields. Assessment is limited to systems with two objects.


Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down. “Down” is a local description of the direction that points toward the center of the spherical Earth. Assessment does not include mathematical representation of gravitational force.


Analyze data to support the claim that Newton’s second law of motion describes the mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic object, its mass, and its acceleration. Assessment is limited to one-dimensional motion and to macroscopic objects moving at non-relativistic speeds. Examples of data could include tables or graphs of position or velocity as a function of time for objects subject to a net unbalanced force, such as a falling object, an object sliding down a ramp, or a moving object being pulled by a constant force.


Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object. Emphasis is on balanced (Newton’s First Law) and unbalanced forces in a system, qualitative comparisons of forces, mass and changes in motion (Newton’s Second Law), frame of reference, and specification of units. Assessment is limited to forces and changes in motion in one-dimension in an inertial reference frame, and to change in one variable at a time. Assessment does not include the use of trigonometry.


Make observations to construct an evidence-based account of how an object made of a small set of pieces can be disassembled and made into a new object. Examples of pieces could include blocks, building bricks, or other assorted small objects.


Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.


Analyze data obtained from testing different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose. Examples of properties could include, strength, flexibility, hardness, texture, and absorbency. Assessment of quantitative measurements is limited to length.


Use mathematical representations to support the claim that the total momentum of a system of objects is conserved when there is no net force on the system. Emphasis is on the quantitative conservation of momentum in interactions and the qualitative meaning of this principle. Assessment is limited to systems of two macroscopic bodies moving in one dimension.


Make observations and/or measurements of an object’s motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion. Examples of motion with a predictable pattern could include a child swinging in a swing, a ball rolling back and forth in a bowl, and two children on a see-saw. Assessment does not include technical terms such as period and frequency.


Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.


Construct and present arguments using evidence to support the claim that gravitational interactions are attractive and depend on the masses of interacting objects. Examples of evidence for arguments could include data generated from simulations or digital tools; and charts displaying mass, strength of interaction, distance from the Sun, and orbital periods of objects within the solar system. Assessment does not include Newton’s Law of Gravitation or Kepler’s Laws.


Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.


Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object. Examples could include an unbalanced force on one side of a ball can make it start moving; and, balanced forces pushing on a box from both sides will not produce any motion at all. Assessment is limited to one variable at a time: number, size, or direction of forces. Assessment does not include quantitative force size, only qualitative and relative. Assessment is limited to gravity being addressed as a force that pulls objects down.


Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

Create a Catapult Game with 1 Sheet of Paper

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