What you learn building a catapult

In this project, we planned our own catapult designs and used materials and tools to build a catapult that can fire consistently and stand on its own. The purpose of this project is to let us establish multiple abilities, such as the ability to design a product that looks professional, the ability to use tools in a design lab correctly and usefully, and also to put our quadratic functions skills to real life problems at a hands-on project that involves us to use our math skills and our design skills.

Throughout the project, we definitely experienced multiple challenges and problems. For example, our first prototype had the problem of breaking apart because the firing arm is made with thin card board. It wasn’t consistently firing the same distance and the card board was breaking at the bottom. We decided to change the firing arm on our second prototype, which is just detaching the card board and hot glueing the arm made with popsicle sticks. This is just one challenge that we came across in our designing and building process, but there is still a lot when we tested it’s abilities at the Catapult Cup Challenge.

With no doubt, this project helped me with my understandings of quadratic function because it allowed us to see how real life is converted into graphs that we learn in math class. From the different functions of Height vs. Time and Height vs. Distance, I received a more thorough understanding of quadratic functions and how it’s used in real life.