Marshmallow Catapult

Use Science to Launch Your Marshmallow

In this 4‑H at Home activity, kids will build marshmallow catapults. From this activity, they will learn about the engineering design process and physics!

 

Grades: 3-5
Topic: STEM

catapult2

Supplies

  • Bulldog clips
  • Bottle caps
  • Popsicle sticks (two sizes)
  • Marshmallows

Activity Steps

No matter what you use to make your catapult, you’re going to need a way of sticking things together. A glue gun is the fastest and most secure way of doing this. Take care when working with hot glue, ask a responsible adult to help you with this bit.

 

  1. With the glue gun loaded and ready, the first thing to do is build the base. Whatever shape you go with, the main thing you want it to be is sturdy. With this in mind, we went for a square design, with a reinforced strip in the middle to hold the firing arm.
  2. Now, we turn our attention to the firing arm. This is the bit that will launch the marshmallow. We made ours from four more lolly sticks. Carefully cut one end off each stick, and make sure that they’re all the same length!
  1. Glue the four sticks on to the bulldog clip, sandwiching the metal arms between the sticks. Don’t be shy with the glue at this stage as you want the firing arm to be solid. Remember to set it aside to dry for a few minutes before you continue.
  2. Attach one side of the firing arm to the central plate on the base. While that’s setting, you can start making the two side panels. We created two right-angles out of six smaller lolly sticks (see Top Tip!, right, before you begin)
  3. The catapult is really starting to take shape now. Glue the two triangular struts either side of the firing arm. It’s worth leaving these to dry and then applying some additional glue to make sure the joins are strong. This will help extend the life-span of your candy chucker.
  4. It doesn’t look like much, but this small piece of lolly stick – or whatever you opt to use – is crucial. Without a crossbar, the arm keeps swinging and your marshmallow is doomed to a mediocre flight.
  5. The final step is to add the “bucket” that will hold your tasty projectile. You want something deep enough so that the marshmallow won’t keep falling out, but not so snug that the payload might get stuck when firing. Before sticking, lightly score the base of the lid for extra grip.
  6. The final step is to add the “bucket” that will hold your tasty projectile. You want something deep enough so that the marshmallow won’t keep falling out, but not so snug that the payload might get stuck when firing. Before sticking, lightly score the base of the lid for extra grip.

    More info available here.

Preview-1

Download the Marshmallow Catapult Activity

Share this activity   

Additional Activities

completing the Guinness World Records marshmallow catapult challenge

Brought to you by:

Explore STEM Resources from Shop 4-H

If you enjoyed these activities, you can find more learning resources and other food, nutrition, and cooking products on Shop4-H.org.

Help Kids Continue Learning During COVID-19