Simple Machines: Super Powers

This week's Family Friday will deepen your understanding of simple machines. In our Physical Science and Engineering series, you will be introduced to important science concepts. Read our step-by-step guide on how to create a catapult using everyday items. Have fun with this simple machines science activity!

What you need:

  • 3 rubber bands
  • 12 popsicle sticks
  • Glue
  • Bottle cap

Step 1

Open your Footsteps2Brilliance App, and go to Level 3 (Blue). In the Physical Science and Engineering series, read the book Simple Machines: Super Powers.

Step 2

Set two popsicle sticks aside. Wrap one rubber band tightly around the end of the other 10.

Step 3

Squeeze one popsicle stick between the top popsicle stick and the others. It should look like a cross.

Step 4

Wrap one rubber band tightly around the other end of the popsicle sticks.

Step 5

Flip the bundle over.

Step 6

Place the last popsicle stick on top of the bundle in the same direction as the popsicle stick that made the cross. Wrap one rubber band around the two popsicle sticks that form the cross.


Step 7

Glue a bottle cap to the catapult to act like a basket.


Step 8

What simple machine is this? It is a lever!

How far can you launch a penny? In this example, the penny is the load and the bundle of popsicle sticks are the fulcrum. If you move the load closer to the fulcrum, is the load launched a further or a shorter distance?

Remember to be careful when playing around others. Never aim a catapult towards anyone else. Have fun!

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