Cotton Ball Launcher

Study potential and kinetic energy while building a fun launcher!

Collect your Materials

  • Short pencil or popsicle stick
  • Thin rubber bands (2)
  • Cardboard tube (2 empty toilet paper tubes or empty paper towel tube cut in half)
  • Packing tape or other strong tape
  • Scissors
  • Cotton balls
  • Single hole punch

Use the video as a guide and start building. Make sure to take pictures of your progress. If you want step by step picture instructions use this link.

Test it out!

In this activity, you used two types of energy to load and launch your cotton ball. As you drew back on the pencil with the cotton ball loaded, you added potential energy to the system. The farther you pulled back on the pencil, the more potential energy was being stored. When you released the pencil, the potential energy became kinetic energy, and the cotton ball should have gone flying through the air!

Make a pic collage with the pictures from your project. Include the energy terms and definitions as well.

 

Source: https://www.sciencebuddies.org/stem-activities/cotton-ball-launcher#instructions

 

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