First Design Challenge here: Ping Pong Launcher. This project is a little more involved, but is a great way for kids to showcase their creativity. Being a Design Challenge, there is no one solution, but rather multiple approaches. Remember, failure is okay, but you must understand WHY and HOW to improve a design.
Hot Glue Gun (Hot Glue)
Materials: (Per group)
1 Carboard Box
10 Craft Sticks
2 Styrofoam Cups
2 Armslength String
4 Plastic Cups
Design: 1 Period ~40min
Build: 2 Periods ~80min
Redesigning: 1-2 Periods ~40-80min
Testing: 1 Period ~40min
Grade Level: 6th-9th
Launch a Ping Pong Ball to hit a target 20ft away
Elastic Potential Energy
3 shots per group
Closest shot to the center of the target stands
Score is the distance from target centerpoint.
Lowest score wins
Aiming at the target can be challenging, so you may want to change the OBJECTIVE to launching the Ping Pong Ball the furthest distance.
You can always add, substitute, or remove build MATERIALS and their quantities.
Figure out what TESTING procedure you want to use. I always let each group shoot 3 times and keep their best attempt.
SCORING can be made into a point system if desired. i.e. center of target (3 pts), middle ring (2pts), outer ring (1pt), miss (0 pts)
My activity is a modification of the plans found here: https://www.teachengineering.org/view_activity.php?url=collection/wpi_/activities/wpi_empathy/wpi_empathy_activity1.xml
Stay tuned for a compilation video of student designs!
Let me know any feedback, modifications you applied, or post your designs!