Eli Whitney Museum

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For School Groups


Explore the ancient and challenging mechanics of catapults. Rubber bands power this model. Safe for people and places when used with the ping pong ball provided. Make Happy Birds and fling them with accuracy.

Meets Connecticut Science Standards

  • 4.1: The position and motion of objects can be changed by pushing or pulling.
  • 8.1: An object’s inertia causes it to continue moving the way it is moving unless it is acted upon by a force to change its motion.

Meets Common Core Standards

  • 4-PS3: Energy
  • MS-PS2: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

Meets Next Generation Science Standards

  • 4-PS3-4: Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another
  • 3-PS2 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions: PS2.A Each force acts on one particular object and has both strength and a direction. An object at rest typically has multiple forces acting on it, but they add to give zero net force on the object. Forces that do not sum to zero can cause changes in the objects speed or direction of motion. The patterns of an object's motion in various situations can be observed and measured; when that past motion exhibits a regular pattern, future motion can be predicted from it. PS2.B Types of Interactions. Objects in contact exert forces on each other. Electric, and magnetic forces between a pair of objects do not require that the objects be in contact. The sizes of the forces in each situation depend on the properties of the objects and their distances apart and, for forces between two magnets, on their orientation relative to each other.
  • 5-PS2-1: 5-PS2-1 Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down.

Catapult 2017

Simple Machines Catapult

Simple Machines Catapult

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