18 Best Catapult Designs For School Projects To Try Today

At some point, every child has tried to create their own catapult, either for fun or for a school project.

Catapults have been around for hundreds of years, and children enjoy making miniature versions of these powerful machines.

18 Best Catapult Designs For School Projects To Try Today

There are a lot of different ways to create a catapult, depending on the materials you have on hand and what you wish to launch across a room. 

Making catapults is quite easy and usually doesn’t involve that many materials. It is also a great excuse to recycle certain materials.

If you are unsure about the type of catapult you want your students to create, then we have you covered. 

We have collected 18 of the best catapult designs that are perfect for a school project that you can try for yourself today. 

1. Tissue Box Catapult

Modify a tissue box to function as a fun catapult. This engineering project is a fantastic project, which helps you to create a simple yet powerful catapult.

All you need is an empty tissue box, pencils and rubber bands. 

Overall,  this is a rather straightforward design, though you might decorate the tissue box to give the catapult design a more personal touch.

2. Pool Noodle Catapult

Once summer is over, you may have some pool noodles hanging around. You can use these pool noodles to create a catapult.

Elastic bands are used to put  the noodles together, and to create the required tension between the noodles to be able to launch lightweight objects. 

With this design, you will need to play around with the pool noodles to find the right position so that your objects will fly the farthest. 

3. Tinker Toy Catapult

A tinker toy catapult is quite simple to construct, and it asks your child to design and possibly redesign their catapult to ensure it works effectively.

All that is required is tinder toys, rubber bands and a marble to launch from the catapult. 

You can experiment with how long you would like the arm to be and how important the tension is when firing the marble. 

4. Cotton Ball Launcher Catapult 

With this catapult design, you will make a very striped back catapult that is able to launch cotton balls over all the room.

This is a great starter catapult, for anyone who hasn’t created a catapult before. Once you have mastered this design, then you will be able to create the more complex and larger catapult designs.

5. Easy Lego Catapult 

It takes a bit of trial and error to build anything with Lego, but that just adds to the enjoyment. Use this Lego catapult design for your student’s school project if they enjoy playing with Lego bricks.

This design is also adaptable depending on the bricks you have on hand.

6. Balloon And Cup Catapult

By cutting the bottom of a cup off and encasing the cup in a balloon, you can create a simple catapult. This is a very easy catapult, which can help you to launch small and lightweight objects far.

By pulling on the tied end of the balloon, this helps you create enough force to shoot out the object you have placed inside the cup. 

7. Plastic Spoon Catapult

If you are looking for a really basic and simple catapult design, then this may be ideal for you. All you need is a strong plastic spoon, glue gun, wooden clothes peg and tape.

This is a really simple design that any child can make in a matter of minutes. 

This catapult is able to shoot lighter objects such as packing peanuts really well. 

8. Popsicle Stick Catapult

Building a popsicle stick catapult is a simple project that can either be done at home or in the science classroom. This is one of the easiest and most well known catapult designs that you may come across. 

With 7 popsicle sticks, a milk cap and 3 rubber bands, anyone can make this small but mighty catapult. It is more suited for shooting lightweight objects such as cotton balls across the room. 

9. Paper Bowl Catapult

You can use almost anything to create a catapult with. In this design, a paper bowl, plastic spoons, and straws are used to make your catapult.

The paper bowl creates a solid base for the catapult and gives your launching arm more height. You may have to alter your design, until you find a design that works well for you. 

10. Marshmallow Catapult

Constructing a marshmallow catapult is very straightforward, that children from the ages of 5 years old and up are able to follow this design.

Marshmallows and long skewers are used in this design. Then you can shoot more marshmallows or other similar sized objects at someone else. 

This design is perfect when old and stale marshmallows are used alongside the skewers in construction. 

11. Cardboard Box Catapult 

Cardboard is a study material, as a result, you can be sure that this design will be sturdy and strong.

This project will create a bigger catapult compared to the designs mentioned above, but the overall size will vary depending on your box size. 

Sturdy pencils and thick rubber bands help you to create plenty of tension. In addition, you can decorate the box to make it more pleasing to look at.

12. Dowel Rod And Rubber Band Catapult 

Pre-cut dowel rods will create a very solid and strong foundation alongside the rubber bands. This can create a powerful catapult, which can launch much heavier objects, such as water balloons. 

As a result, this catapult design is perfect when you want to create a catapult that is ideal for summer and a water fight. 

13. Model Roman Catapult

A model roman catapult is a great idea, if you want to create a more traditional catapult but on a smaller scale. In this project, you spend more time creating a secure and well-thought-out base.

It is important that the students consider the size of each dowel they are using. 

Since this catapult is more complex than other designs we have mentioned above, it is more suitable for older students or children to complete. However, they will be really proud of the end results. 

14. Pencil Catapult

Pencils are really easy to come by, and everyone always has an excess amount of them. In this catapult design, you can use a bunch of pencils to create a strong catapult.

Students can alter the design of their catapult, depending on how many pencils they wish to use. 

15. Slingshot Catapult

A catapult is about pulling something back to create tension and using that tension to fire an object. In this design, you will create a triangular base and structure.

Inside the catapult structure, you will use elastic bands and a bottle top for the object to sit inside.

Then, by pulling on the bottle top and elastic bands, this will give the small object enough energy to fire forward. 

16. Wooden Spoon Catapult

Anyone can make a catapult, and this catapult design is perfect for younger children. All you need is a couple of large cardboard tubes, a wooden spoon and some elastic bands.

By piling the cardboard tubes on top of each other, you then create the perfect angle to position the wooden spoon on.

This then allows the spoon a better angle, to be drawn back on and to create tension to fly pom poms. 

17. Clothespin Catapult 

Multiple clothespins are glued together to help provide the catapult more tension when the popsicle stick is pulled back.

You can’t get more simple and easy with this catapult design that consists of very common household items. You will be able to launch ping pong balls across the room with ease. 

18. Plastic Spoon And Popsicle Stick Catapult

Here, we have another really straightforward catapult design, that consists of popsicle sticks, a plastic spoon and rubber bands.

There are various ways in which you can arrange the popsicle sticks to create a solid base for the plastic spoon launcher. 

It is important to plan your catapult design to begin with and then alter it as you go along. The plastic spoon is a great launcher as it is the right shape to hold small items in.

Final Thoughts

A really common and fun school project is creating your own catapult design. There are lots of ways to create a catapult, as you can see above.

They are usually made from common household items, which are easy to get a hold of. 

We hope this article has been helpful and that at least one of these 18 catapult designs has inspired you to create your own catapult.

Helena Waters

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