When you think of winter, what is the first thing that pops into your head? White, fluffy snow! And what do you do with snow when you are a kid? Have a snowball fight!
For this winter STEM challenge, the kids will go through the scientific method and find out which object will go farther when you launch different items using a popsicle stick catapult!
Snowball Fight Winter STEM Challenge
- Free printable snowball fight challenge worksheet (download form located at the end of this post)
- 9 popsicle sticks
- 5 Rubber bands
- 1 Plastic spoon
- 1 Marshmallow
- 1 Cotton ball
1. Stack 7 popsicle sticks and tie ends with rubber bands.
2. Use 2 rubber bands to secure the plastic spoon to a popsicle stick.
3. Stack the popsicle stick with the spoon and another popsicle stick and tie one end with a rubber band.
4. Pull apart the 2 popsicle sticks and wedge the stack of 7 between those 2.
5. Place a cotton ball on the spoon.
6. Press down on the spoon gently while holding the bottom of the catapult with your other hand.
7. Let go and watch the cotton ball fly!
8. Repeat steps #5-7 with a marshmallow.
9. Follow the worksheet to record if the marshmallow or cotton ball went further!
For older kids, you can make the challenge harder by giving them the popsicle sticks, spoon, and rubber bands and have them figure out how to build the catapult. You will be surprised at the different ways they build their catapults!
After your kids finished the 3 trials with the cotton balls and marshmallows, you can have them:
- Discuss with your kids why they think the cotton ball or the marshmallow went farther.
- Improve the catapult and try launching the cotton balls and marshmallows again to see if the design made a difference.
- Try the challenge with different objects like styrofoam ball or gumdrops.
- Make two different catapults and shoot the marshmallow and cotton ball together!
FOR MORE WINTER STEM ACTIVITIES: