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October 20, 2014

The Brown Bag STEM Challenge II- Slingshot Gallery

Have you ever played the shooting gallery game at the carnival?  Here's a STEM twist on that carnival game for students...a slingshot gallery.

Slingshot Targets*
 Rubber Bands
Craft PomPoms
Popsicle Sticks
Other Fun Found Objects

*Download the Slingshot Targets sheet and photocopy it onto cardstock.  Students will cut the targets apart and fold them to test their slingshot designs.

For this Challenge, students are tasked with building a working slingshot that will knock down the designated targets from a distance of 60 cm (24 inches). Students can work in pairs, but I like each student to design and build their own slingshot.  It shows more ownership and also results in each student having their own data to analyze later.

In addition to establishing a required distance to "fling" from, I like to also require other parameters based on age group (Everyone must use at least 4 different supplies.) or based on available supplies to increase the difficulty (Everyone must use a paper cup in their design.) Adjusting these parameters allows me to differentiate the challenge, even within the same classroom.

So, what did we learn? 
Next Generation Science Standards: Planning and Carrying out Investigations, Designing Solutions; CCC- Patterns, Systems and System Models

CCSS Math: Functions,Expressions and Equations

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