Friday, May 13, 2016

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STEM Challenge: Build a Catapult with Outdoor Materials Science Experiment

STEM, science, and outdoors are some of our favorite activity themes!  I'm putting together a series of STEM challenges and science experiments for our kids to do this summer in a STEM Summer Camp, and this is the first science project challenge that I thought of!

The set up is SO easy!!  Simply write the following instructions on a slip of paper and place it inside a lunch baggie:

"Build a catapult using materials you find outside."

The rest of the project, the materials, the format, the building, and the final structure are all up to your kiddos!  You can answer questions or encourage them, but the challenge is to build a catapult themselves.  When they are done, they can try (carefully!) launching sticks, rocks, pinecones, or other small objects!

This projects requires your kiddos to use scientific reasoning, team work, language and discussion, creativity, problem solving, and more skills!  It integrates science (physics), technology (any tools they find or create), engineering (designing and building the catapult), and math (calculating and testing trajectory).  To adapt the project for older children, you can include more advanced technology and math tools in the baggie (like a calculator, tape measure, or other supplies).  We will be doing it with younger children and will just be using qualitative math.

Check back in a few weeks and I will add pictures of the process they went through and their final catapults!

I am also sharing this science project as part of the 31 Days of Outdoor STEM hosted by Little Bins for Little Hands!  Be sure to click over to see LOADS of other great ideas for taking STEM learning outside with great science experiments and other activities!

I may share at any of these parties!

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