Top
Get science ideas & lessons right in your inbox!

Build a Catapult STEM Challenge for Middle School Science NGSS MS-ETS1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 1-4

Your middle school science class is sure to LOVE using the design process to build a catapult!

Students will design and build a catapult. Students will learn about mangonels and trebuchets. Using the design process, students will build a catapult, test it, evaluate it according to the criteria and constraints, compare it with other design solutions, and improve their own design solutions.

They will also learn about the mangonel which uses tension to power the launch and the trebuchet which uses a counterweight and gravity to launch the projectile. Your class will love this engaging STEM activity and they will love learning about these two mechanisms for launching a projectile.

This unit contains a variety of different activities to keep your students engaged!

It includes a slideshow on trebuchets and mangonels with an interactive note taking guide, information on planning an investigation, information on criteria and constraints, and follow-up pages.

My students used this resource to help them compete in a school wide STEM competition. My class made catapults and were so proud to launch them for the school. Great information and clear directions.

Peggy E.

This was an interesting STEM challenge that incorporated a lot of science! My students were definitely thinking and using engineering skills! Two thumbs up!

Emily S.

I loved that my students learned about different methods for launching. We made both counterweight design and tension designs. Great design thinking activity.

Adelle S.

Other teachers LOVE this unit!

Check out more of the dozens of perfect reviews on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Try this unit in your classroom TODAY:

This unit is available for download in two places:

  1. Here on teachingscience.us
  2. Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams on Teachers Pay Teachers

Both downloads are identical in every way – if you download directly from this site, you’re giving me the maximum amount of support!

Either way, your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed.

This site uses 100% secure checkout with PayPal, and after checkout your download is instantly available.

Thank you, and I hope you enjoy using this unit in your classroom!

Start Here

My students loved this unit. I was able to present different elements of it throughout the month. It is hard to find interesting non-fictional, age-appropriate text for my students that they will enjoy. This was a great unit that aligned well for my students who have very different goals within the same group.

 
Compare and Contrast Two Texts on Reindeer

Heidi J

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
2020-11-03T20:45:49-07:00

Heidi J

My students loved this unit. I was able to present different elements of it throughout the month. It is hard to find interesting non-fictional, age-appropriate text for my students that they will enjoy. This was a great unit that aligned well for my students who have very different goals within the same group.   Compare and Contrast Two Texts on Reindeer
I am so impressed with this unit which manages to be distance learning and hands-on at the same time.  Really well thought out and engaging activities that allow students to practice each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices.  Really no prep for me!

 
Science and Engineering Practices Distance Education Unit

Tina S

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:05:39-06:00

Tina S

I am so impressed with this unit which manages to be distance learning and hands-on at the same time.  Really well thought out and engaging activities that allow students to practice each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices.  Really no prep for me!   Science and Engineering Practices Distance Education Unit
The elephant article was excellent but I also thought the lab on dissecting a flower was broken down so easily, even telling me where to get inexpensive flowers!  This resource helped me teach this challenging standard in an engaging way.  Worth every penny!

 
Structure and Function NGSS 4-LS1-1 and 4-LS1-2

Richard S

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:07:52-06:00

Richard S

The elephant article was excellent but I also thought the lab on dissecting a flower was broken down so easily, even telling me where to get inexpensive flowers!  This resource helped me teach this challenging standard in an engaging way.  Worth every penny!   Structure and Function NGSS 4-LS1-1 and 4-LS1-2
As always, Lynda provides perfect alignment with the standards.

 
Age of the Earth and Geologic Time Scale NGSS MS ESS1-4

Sharon M

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:24:44-06:00

Sharon M

As always, Lynda provides perfect alignment with the standards.   Age of the Earth and Geologic Time Scale NGSS MS ESS1-4
Thank you so much for creating this resource! It is such a fun and engaging activity for my students, especially during distance learning.

 
Honey Bee Digital Escape Distance Learning

Expedition Fourth

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
2020-11-03T20:44:55-07:00

Expedition Fourth

Thank you so much for creating this resource! It is such a fun and engaging activity for my students, especially during distance learning.   Honey Bee Digital Escape Distance Learning
5
3
Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams