Catapult Physics & Lab Activity Info

• Force (F): strength or power
applied upon an object.
F = mass * acceleration
• Mass (m): the quantity of
matter (atoms/particles) in
the object
• Gravity (g): the FORCE
of attraction by which
bodies tend to fall toward
the center
• Velocity (v): how far you go over a
set amount of time (v = distance/time)
• Acceleration (a): “speeding up”
• Tension: the
state of being
stretched or
strained. (left)
• Angles (θ): the
space within two
lines (right)
• Projectile motion
• refers to the motion of an
object projected into the
air at an angle.
Long Jumper
Gravity is necessary to make a
Without Gravity VS. With Gravity
projectile land back on the
ground. The launching force
and angle along with the mass
of the object help determine
how far and how high the
projectile will fly
 3. What are 3 factors that will affect the
distance the projectile travels?
 4. Describe how an object’s mass will
change the projectile’s distance traveled?
An object of the same mass
and same angle is thrown
faster and faster each time
 Answer Question 5
 6. Describe how tension affects the projectile
 7. Does mass effect velocity? Why or why not?
 8. How are mass, velocity, and projectile motion
Objective: The projectiles in this activity are
marshmallows. Design and build your catapult to
launch the projectile a certain distance.
Remember to do some research to help you in the design
process. Include sketches in your design plan, a list of
materials you will use, and a data table you will record
your results in.
I MUST approve your design plans before you will be
allowed to begin construction.
Example Process
 What angle will you use to shoot
your projectile?
 What will create a force to
launch the projectile?
 What is the mass of the object
being launched?
Let’s go out to do a test run and
collect our first set of data!
Factors Affecting Distance
 Mass of object being hurled
 Strength & flexibility of arm
 Mass of arm
 Length of the arm
 How far the arm is pulled back
 Angle of base or release (best angle?)
Possible Design Challenge #2
Angry Birds – Making Your Catapults Accurate
 Make your own data table to record how many times
your marshmallow hits the target.
 Calculate your experimental probability.
# of times it landed on target / total # of launches
 Are you accurate? Precise? Both?
 What variables affect the accuracy of your catapult?

similar documents