Conservation of Energy through use of Catapults

Grade 9

Next Gen Science Standards- Information Literacy Related Practice:

Planning and carrying out investigations

Disciplinary Core Ideas: HS PS 3-3

Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.

Ohio Standards Cognitive Demand: Designing Technological and Engineering Solutions using science concepts.

Objectives of assignment:

Research, design, build, and refine a catapult with the materials given to convert elastic potential energy into kinetic energy.

Resources required:

  • Internet access
  • Building materials: pencils, plastic flatware, rubber bands, Popsicle sticks,  tongue depressors, bottle caps, clothespins, tape, twist ties, zip ties, binder clips, etc.
  • Laptops

Assignment:

Members of a group will research the history of catapults, dos and don'ts of catapult construction, designs of catapults.  Catapult designs will be approved before construction.  In class,  catapults will be built using the materials provided.  Groups will then test their designs.  

Important Summation/Review Points:

Students will complete an analysis exploring the concept of energy conservation as related to the catapult function.

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