Sixth-graders built catapults

Published 6:59 am Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Grace Christian Academy sixth-grade students enjoyed the “fruits of their labor” on Feb. 17 and 18 as 22 catapults ranging in size from eight inches to five feet were displayed and launched.

Students launched a variety of things such as M&M’s, marshmallows, eggs, rubber balls and turnips. Some of the items launched traveled around 50 to 60 feet.

Mrs. Dena Smith said there are numerous reasons the project is beneficial to student.

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“We follow the national standards for our curriculum here at GCA and participating in hands-on projects and science experiments is vital for students to fully grasp concepts and skills taught,” Smith said. “Our country needs to continue to develop good engineers and scientists, and this project gave students an opportunity to use engineering, physics and math. Furthermore, what better way to understand science inquiry and problem solving than to construct a working structure while using current technology and researching skills.”

Many of the sixth-graders said the hardest part was answering questions from a panel of judges during the presentations of their launches. Learning about potential and kinetic energy, force and motion, mathematical measurement and simple machines in a creative, fun way was evident by the smiles from the students as they launched their ammunition.