Catapult Creations

Catapult Creations

Submitted by: Dory Doyle
Collaborators: Suzanne Whitlow
School: Shady Grove ES


Students imagined that they were settlers at Jamestown. While building a fort, they needed a way to protect from the Indians and Spanish attackers. They were instructed to build a catapult and stay within a budget. Throughout the project, students researched, designed, planned, and built a catapult. They tested and edited their catapults, and reflected on their catapults compared to other groups. They then were able to share their catapults with an advanced physics high school class, where they blogged questions and received advice.

TIPC Ratings

This project falls into the Target area for Research and Information fluency. The task was authentic and students had to synthesize information in order to complete the building task for this project.

For Communication and Collaboration, this project falls into the target area. The use of a collaborative document, plus blogging and using Elluminate video conferencing with experts allowed communication regardless of physical distance.

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving is demonstrated in this project at the Target level as well. All questioning was student produced, and based on trials of their catapults and using their experts for advice, students were able to modify their catapults. Using reflection and setting goals for growth were evident.

Each catapult was a completely different design than the others. Groups took risks that supported innovation, and used the reflective process to self-assess. This falls into the Target category for Creativity and Innovation.

Student Artifact

Download Files


  • Lesson Plan
  • Research Tools
  • Student Planning Samples
  • Blog

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