The Mechanics of a Catapult {Day 2}

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The rock hills, taken and shaped by hard work, 
Are made to soar forward from the sling of a machine; 
Through wind and clouds they ride upon their way, 
Like Meteors they thunder through space
– Unknown Chinese Poet, 1300

How are the machines constructed?
What materials can we use for our model for it to function properly?
How does the machine work?
One resource we love at our house is The Art of the Catapult by William Gurstelle. It’s a fun source of history and mechanics all rolled into one.

One of the pleasures of this unit study is to allow your children to immerse themselves in discovery. While they might enjoy some mentoring, don’t feel like you need to micromanage this study.

The next step is for them to build their own, so they have some fun motivation for finding out more about catapult construction. There are many online resources only a Google search away for detailed pictures, plans, and descriptions for catapults. Students can make sketches and make plans for materials they have around the house which would be suitable for creating their own catapult.

Reading and understanding how the machines work, will give students ideas on what materials to use and how to put them together. Enjoy this day of discovery!

Join me tomorrow and we’ll find out more about building these machines.


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