How to Build a Catapult Out of Popsicle Sticks

You can re-enact medieval battles or just fling stuff across the room with this fun Popsicle stick catapult.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Wrap one end of the rubber band around the catapult arm just below the cup and tape it securely in place. Then tape the other end of the arm to the inside of the triangle, at the bottom corner, where the three individual triangles meet.
  • TIP: You can also drill a hole in the catapult arm and put a paper clip through the hole so that it moves freely. Then tape the other end of the paper clip to where the three triangles meet.
  • Step 2: Wrap the loose end of the rubber band around the top of the catapult and tape it in place. Then put your ammunition -- whether made from crumpled up paper or balled up rubber bands -- in the cup, pull the lever down, and fire away.
  • FACT: The trebuchet -- a kind of catapult -- was built and used through the 14th and early 15th centuries, until it was replaced by guns and gunpowder cannons.
  • Step 3: Reinforce a 2- or 3-ounce paper cup by wrapping tape around it. Then tape the reinforced cup near the end of the arm, being sure to leave an inch at the end of the arm so you can press the arm down with your finger.
  • Step 4: Arrange 3 Popsicle sticks, end to end, on your work surface and set two more sticks on top of the three, at the center, like the bottom layers of a pyramid. Then tape the stacked sticks together to make the catapult's arm.
  • Step 5: Lay the 3 triangle legs end to end and tape them together. Then fold the legs into a triangle and tape the open end.
  • TIP: Wrap at least 3 layers of tape over the Popsicle sticks so that the joints are strong.
  • Step 6: Repeat the process and construct two more triangles. Then hold 2 of the triangles upright, side by side, and tape them together on one end.
  • Step 7: Lay the third triangle flat on your work surface. Hold the 2 joined triangles upright, separate the legs, and slide the open triangles over the flat triangle on the work surface, creating a 3-D triangle.
  • Step 8: Lay a 3-inch strip of masking tape, sticky side up, on your work surface. Then press 2 Popsicle sticks, end to end, across one end of the tape. Center a third stick over the first 2, and then wrap the tape around sticks. Repeat 2 more times to make the legs of your first triangle.

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