This Creating a Catapult: Accuracy and Precision Lab falls under the "Big Idea" of Force and Motion. Its focus is on Accuracy and Precision. Students create a catapult and test it by launching a "pom-pom" toward a target. They measure the distance from its landing to the bulls eye of the target. After at least 5 trials, the students then make adjustments to their catapult to try to "calibrate" it to be more accurate and precise. After the "launch sequence," students answer questions about which catapults were most successful and why that might be. A recording sheet and a "target" are included.
This lab activity was created by Suzanne Buras for her gifted 5th graders. It is always a class favorite and can be completed by elementary students or higher. Junior high school students would, no doubt, create more complex catapults and be able to do more with calibrating the catapult to guarantee more consistent accurate and precise results in targeting.