A catapult is any mechanical device used to throw a projectile a great distance; particularly various types of ancient and medieval siege engines. Construction of a catapult will familiarize students with mechanical machines and how they work.
This project is called My First Catapult because often students use it as the first step toward developing more advanced and more creative models.
The catapult appears to have been invented in 399 BC in the city of Syracuse during the reign of the tyrant Dionysios I. Originally, "catapult" referred to a dart-thrower, while "ballista" referred to a stone-thrower, but the two terms swapped meaning sometime in the fourth century AD.
If you want to make your first catapult as your school project or educational activity, you may consider this simple model and save time by ordering a kit.
Launching (Testing your catapult)
We recommend that you only launch soft objects from the catapult. Load a soft object into the projectile cradle; we suggest a small marshmallow. You can experiment by raising the front of the catapult. When you adjust the elevation of the front or back of the catapult, you will see how it affects the distance that the launched object travels.
Detail instructions for this catapult project are available online.