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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
  2. Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams on Teachers Pay Teachers

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

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