Catapult Math

After building catapults last week it was time for testing and testing was the perfect opportunity for math, but the kids didn't realize they were doing math. They were having fun.

The cannon balls were made much like spit balls except glue was used instead of spit. The balls were painted so each child had a different color. The first math involved in the testing was measuring. I worked with the kids to mark the distance from the shooting line in increments of meters out to 12 meters.

Sheets for recording the distance were given to each child. Please feel free to print them for personal or classroom use.

Next, each child shot their cannon ball five times and recorded the distance to the nearest meter. After five shots were made the distances were added together and divided by five to find the average distance.

I love this picture. The first child is testing, the second is recording results and the third is re-engineering his design.

After they each had the opportunity to shoot five times they were given the opportunity to improve their designs and retest. Many of the designs were improved, but so were the shooting techniques. My six year old realized that by pulling the lever arm further back her cannon ball would go farther.

This post is linked to: 
Kids Math Teacher
We Made That Wednesday
True Aim Education


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