Halloween season brings costumes, candy, goblins, and ghouls. It is also a fab-boo-lous time to engage your children in a spooky STEM project by building a candy corn catapult!
Here's what you need:
- 10 tongue depressors or wide popsicle sticks
- 4 rubber bands
- 1 water or soda bottle cap
- Tape or hot glue
- Candy corn (those candy pumpkins can work, too)
1. Stack eight tongue depressors together, and wrap each end of the stack tightly with a rubber band. This will be the catapult base.
2. Stack two tongue depressors together, and wrap one end of the stack with a rubber band. Keep the rubber band a little loose at this time. This will be the catapult arm!
3. Slide the stack of eight tongue depressors (the catapult base) between the two tongue depressors that make up the catapult arm.
4. Wrap a second rubber band tightly around the front end of the catapult arm, if desired.
5. Add tape and strong glue to the flat side of the bottle cap. Glue the cap to the top of the catapult arm on the opposite side of the rubber bands.
6. Set the catapult in your family’s designated testing area. Make sure the area is clear.
7. Set a piece of candy corn into the bottle cap and pull it down on the tongue depressor, while holding down the base with your other hand, to launch the catapult. How far did your candy corn fly?
What's going on?
A candy corn catapult is a perfect way to teach your child about kinetic and potential energy. Kinetic energy is the energy of motion and potential energy is the energy that can be released. Your child can witness these concepts through the creation and use of a catapult!
Potential energy is created by pushing the arm of the catapult down and stretching the rubber bands. When the catapult is released, your child can witness kinetic energy. Combining a holiday that’s full of candy with a fun STEM project makes learning so much fun!
Give em’ pumpkin to talk about this Halloween by creating this candy corn catapult with your child.