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Simple Machines Activity for Kids

Popsicle Stick Catapult DIY

  • Duration: 20-30 min
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: $0 to $5

Make a catapult to launch a marshmallow!

Material List

  • 14Large popsicle sticks
  • 4Small rubber bands
  • 1Plastic spoon
  • 12Mini marshmallows


  • 1Take 12 popsicle sticks and stack them together.
  • 2Secure the popsicle sticks by wrapping two rubber bands around the stack.
  • 3Place one popsicle stick under the stack making a ‘T’ shape.
  • 4Place another popsicle stick on top of the stack making a ‘T’ shape.
  • 5Attach the two individual popsicle sticks together using a rubber band at one end.
  • 6Slide the handle end of a spoon into the last rubber band.
  • 7Secure the spoon end with one more rubber band.
  • 8Put a marshmallow on the spoon.
  • 9Pull down on the spoon and let go.

How It Works

A catapult works like a lever, which is a simple machine. When you push down on one end of the lever and then let go, it changes the direction of the force and pushes the marshmallow in the opposite direction. Levers are used all around us. For example, a seesaw is a lever and so is a pair of scissors!

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