Winter Snowman STEM Catapult Challenge (Angles and Ratios)

Vivify STEM
Grade Levels
3rd - 10th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
25 pages
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Vivify STEM

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Have a snowball fight with catapults and ping pong balls! This winter STEM catapult challenge involves engineering, geometry, ratios, critical thinking, and teamwork in an engaging winter-themed activity your students will love!

Updated to include digital STEM journals for distance learning!

Using the engineering design process along with math skills, teams of students will build two catapult designs from common materials (popsicle sticks, rubber bands, newspapers, magazines, cans, and other recyclable materials). Each team will then test at three stations: Distance, Accuracy, and Power. Included are follow-up math problems for enhanced learning. One of my favorite STEM activities!

**This product is a winter version of our catapult challenge**

Included in this product:

  • Teachers guide with links to resources and photos
  • Student catapult design sheet
  • Editable version for Google Slides, Flipgrid, and printed STEM journal
  • Editable Note to Parents
  • STEM Career Connection: Mechanical Engineering & Material Engineer
  • Student recording sheet for each station: accuracy, power (distance), and knocking over a tower
  • Math connection problems including angles, ratios, and averages, and graphing

Materials: This challenge can be completed with common materials such as craft sticks, rubber bands, ping pong balls, newspapers, cans, etc. Video links provided for instructions on building different versions.

Looking for more STEM lessons? Find the Vivify resource guide here:

About STEM Challenges: Click here to learn more about the 3 Stages of STEM. STEM challenges are an engaging way to incorporate the engineering design process into your classroom or after school program! These hands-on activities allow students to work in teams, apply the engineering design process, and connect science topics to real-world applications. The teacher will provide the structure to the project, but students will take an active role in designing and building their own device.

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Total Pages
25 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Construct, use, and present arguments to support the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object. Examples of empirical evidence used in arguments could include an inventory or other representation of the energy before and after the transfer in the form of temperature changes or motion of object. Assessment does not include calculations of energy.
Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.


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