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Get ready to launch marshmallows across the room with the power of a mousetrap! Print out our Marshmallow Catapult instruction sheet with step-by-step pictures.
SAFETY NOTE: Mousetraps are dangerous! If one snaps back on your hand it could break a finger. This project requires adult permission and supervision.
Newton's first law of motion states that objects in motion tend to remain in motion, unless acted on by an outside force. When you released the catapult, both the lever arm and the "ammunition" moved forward with energy from the spring. When the lever arm hit the erasers, it came to a sudden stop. The marshmallow, however, remained in motion until it hit something else or until the force of gravity overcame its motion and brought it to the ground. The same principle applies to driving in a car - both you and the car are moving together, but if the car comes to a sudden stop (as in a collision), your body will keep moving forward. This is why you should always wear a seatbelt!
This project is adapted from BOAST hands-on science lessons.