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Marshmallow Catapult Challenge Kit

marshmall
Introducing the first 4-H science activity kit. The Marshmallow Catapult Challenge! (Photo credit: National 4-H)

Introducing the first 4-H science activity kit! The Marshmallow Catapult Challenge is adapted from a popular activity in the Junk Drawer Robotics Level 1 curriculum. This hands-on challenge guides youth through engineering a catapult to launch a marshmallow more than six feet. Kids design the catapult with basic materials using only weights and gravity as the power source. During the activity, they learn about form, function, design, and the manufacturing process.

They will plan, build, test, modify, and record results on the Marshmallow Challenge worksheet. Suggested for grades 4-12 and groups of two to five kids, but can also be used by a youth-adult team. This challenge is the perfect activity for an ice-breaker, in-service day, or after school session, and can be used as an introduction to STEM education or 4-H’s more thorough Junk Drawer Robotics curriculum.  

The kit starts with instructions on how to connect the popsicle sticks together with rubber bands and it ends with kids cheering as their marshmallow beats the previously recorded distance!  Once the rubber bands and popsicle sticks are attached, the builders hot glue (or have the adult supervisor hot glue) a soda bottle top onto the launching arm and they’re ready to compete.  To add more creative interest, the catapults can be customized with paint and decorations.

Materials include but are not limited to: binder clips, paint stirrers, and tongue depressors.  You supply the marshmallows, glue gun, and your own hand drill. Marshmallow Catapult Challenge Kits are available online at the 4-H Mall for $19.95 plus shipping.

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