Retrieved from the Akron Global Polymer Academy at http://www.agpa.uakron.edu/p16/lesson-plans.php
Author: Tracy Wilson, Jason Pitak, Tim Petrie, Jacqueline Godsey, AGPA staff
Working in groups, students will be given materials to build and test a catapult. Then, the groups will exchange catapults so the students can improve on another group's design for accuracy and distance.
What should the students know as a result of this lesson?
What should the students be able to do as a result of this lesson?
Assessment: The assessment is informal. Monitor that the students are watching the video and involved in the discussion following the video. At this time, notice any misconceptions the students may have about catapults.
Assessment: Monitor that the students are using the materials as intended and that the students are recording the data properly.
Assessment: Use the rubric provided to evaluate the catapults.
Assessment: Each student should do a short write-up that includes:
An understanding of simple machines is necessary.
Information on simple machines can be found at:
Information on the engineering design process can be found at:
Numerous websites can be found on catapults.
Information on potential and kinetic energy can be found at:
Safety goggles are necessary.
General science classroom safety should be followed.
Problem solving skills, working in groups, and accepting constructive criticism are necessary in life. In addition, product development and engineering process design are necessary for students that will pursue careers that need these skills.
Assessments are included at each stage of the learning cycle.
At the beginning of the lesson, tell students that they will be trading their catapult with another group and the new group will modify the original design to improve the catapult. Also, explain constructive criticism so the students will understand how to give and receive constructive criticism.
Groups should contain a maximum of 4 students.
This lesson should take four 45 minute class periods. This will vary based on the number of groups and the length of the discussions on simple machines, engineering design process, potential energy, and kinetic energy.
Simple Machines Data Sheet [PDF]
Simple Machines Rubric [PDF]
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