Kids Niche Feature: Fireweed Second Grade


Each week we'll feature glimpses into what happens in and out of our classrooms here at school! These will include lessons, activities, centers, and saunters from both our day school and Kids Niche programs.

Today's feature: Fireweed Makes Catapults! 

The second graders are all about launching things through the air. Paper airplanes, baseballs, footballs, soccer balls, beanbags, various clothing items, whatever- if it can be thrown they love to see it fly. We decided to channel this passion into a STEM-based engineering project: building simple catapults out of materials found in the basement. The kids were given popsicle sticks, rubber bands, small scrap metal, egg cartons, pipe cleaners, and only one foot of masking tape. We used cotton balls for the projectiles (so that no one got hurt and nothing got broken). Fireweed students experimented with a variety of different styles and designs to launch their projectiles as high and as far as they could. We’re looking forward to doing this project again soon!

Learning Objectives:

  • Test different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose.

  • Compare the strengths and weaknesses of of two objects designed to solve the same problem and analyze how each performs

  • Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.

  • Develop, test, and improve upon a design to meet an intended objective.