Teacher Talk: 3rd Grade Explores Force & Motion with Catapults and Mousetrap Cars

December 8, 2015

The third grade used the Makerspace to explore force and motion. With the help of Ms. Finkle, our STEAM Enrichment Instructor and Makerspace Director, they first built catapults with tongue depressors, an empty fruit cup, a rubber band and LOTS of hot glue. Then, they used these machines to explore the concept of force (balanced and unbalance) and how it impacts motion (both speed and direction). The students were given the challenge to take the energy of a mousetrap and transfer it to a self-created car.

Students spent time designing their cars and building their visions with re-purposed materials. The process included time to test their mouse trap cars and make observations. Then, they worked to improve them to make them run faster and farther. This engineering design cycle culminated with a running of the cars with their kindergarten buddies eagerly observing.

Jennifer Coulter
3rd Grade Teacher

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