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Catapult Math

We have been working on engineering and simple machines in science.  I am of the mindset that if we are going to be doing something awesome/fun in one subject- we better try connecting it across the curriculum.

So here is how our Friday went---

First thing this morning kids made catapults using Popsicle sticks.  Check out THIS website for detailed instructions on how to make the catapult.  We tried different amounts of Popsicle sticks but found that having about 8 in the middle works best for getting distance.  :)

I arranged the desk in a large rectangle and I marked the space in one foot increments in the open space using green frog tape.  

After students made their catapults I had 4 students line up on opposite sides of our "field" (8 total). Each student had 3 trials to flip their pom poms the farthest.  Students filled out THIS RESPONSE sheet which includes numerous math operations and questioning- regrouping, measurement, comparing numbers.  

Here's the kids using the catapults! 

Students had to measure their distance and figure out how many inches it was total.

During literacy we read about the Vikings and watched how people use catapults today.

During science we watched some of the Punkin Chunkin' videos and decided to have our own in class using the pom poms :)  

We flung a few with our catapults... and then decided that using our simple machine levers... aka our arms might be a bit more fun.

Needless to say the kids loved it!  After it dried we voted on a motto-- which was pretty much unanimous and painted it on our art work. We were inspired by Oliver Jeffers as our mentor illustrator :)

My goal is to encourage the kids and make sure that they know.... it doesn't matter if they have flops... those flops leads to successes.  Success has flops-but you have to DO SOMETHING!  We use this motto all day and it helps relieve the anxiety of not doing something perfect... they just have to DO SOMETHING. This now proudly hangs in our classroom.  My question to you is what do you need to do?  What scares the bejesus out of you or makes you anxious that you need to try or move in that direction?  I have 3 big ones on my list that I am actively trying to DO SOMETHING in.... what are yours?!?

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