15-19 of February 2021 Prof. Florentina Paduraru
One day, in the rural are where our school is located, a strange object appeared in the preparatory class. All the students studied the object. They saw ice cream sticks and rubber bands. One end was bigger and the other one smaller. The bigger end had an bottle cup glued on it. Some students said it was a flying object or a plane, others said it was a space ship or a sling. Finnaly, a little boy remembered that he used a device like this to throw ping pong balls. The toy was a catapult.
How to use a catapult?
First, we learned how to use it. You need to push down the arm of the catapult, then put a small figurine on it and when you let it go, the figurine flies in the air. It is so much fun! We took a measuring tape and, one by one, we tried out the catapult and measured the distance the figurine travelled through the air. A group of students were measuring and another one was writing the results on the blackboard. The new object became a new friend.
Building our own catapult
The second day we used ice cream sticks and rubber bands to build our own catapults. It was not easy but we managed to build a few interesting catapults. We tried them out using different objects – Lego figurines, balls of playdough, some rubbers. We observed that the heavy objects were flying a smaller distance than the easier ones and we explained why.
Using catapult in Maths
On the third day, we used the catapult to do some Math additions and substractions. We were organised in pairs – one student used the catapult to select the numbers for the Math operation and the other one was writing it and calculating the result. Math met Science that day and we loved it! (Who knew Math could be so much fun?)
STE(A)M IT is so much fun!
We were inspired by the STE(A)M IT Learning Scenario about the catapult. We would be delighted if other students and teachers would try out this activity because it is fun, it involves STE(A)M activities, hands-on activities, doing experiments and…..learning in a different way.