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Catapult Physics & Lab Activity. Definitions. Force ( F ) : strength or power applied upon an object. F = mass * acceleration. Definitions. Mass ( m ) : the quantity of matter (atoms/particles) in the object

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Catapult physics lab activity

Catapult Physics&Lab Activity

Catapult physics lab activity


  • 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


  • With Air

  • Resistance






  • 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
Projectile Motion

  • Projectile motion

    • refers to the motion of an object projected into the air at an angle.

Examples projectiles in motion
Examples: Projectiles in Motion



Long Jumper

Putting it all together
Putting it All Together

Gravity is necessary to make a 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

Without Gravity VS. With Gravity


  • 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?

Catapult physics lab activity

Factors in Affect….What Happened?


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 motion?

  • 7. Does mass effect velocity? Why or why not?

  • 8. How are mass, velocity, and projectile motion related?

Engineering design the assignment
Engineering Design: The Assignment

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.

Things to consider
Things to Consider..

  • 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?

Factors affecting distance
Factors Affecting Distance data!

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
Possible Design Challenge #2 data!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?