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Science Rocks!

Cotton Ball Catapult


your results

Sent in by:
Cullen of Orchard Park, NY

F-tWaNg!! ThW-uMP!! The Cotton Ball Catapult leaps into action.

Materials Needed

  • cotton balls
  • plastic spoon
  • a ruler
  • masking tape
  • 2 rubber bands



  1. Try to make a cotton ball catapult using these materials.
  2. Cullen likes this challenge because he's not usually allowed to throw anything in the house.

Some of your Results

Dylan, age 7 of Phoenix, AZ wrote:
I used a little marshmallow. My dad and I had a competition and my marshmallow flew 28 feet and 101/2 inches. Sitting on the floor helps so the marshmallow doesn't hit the ceiling and go straight down.

Katie of San Francisco, CA wrote:
I like to make mine with marshmallows instead of cotton balls

Lily, age 8 of Mt. Juliet, TN wrote:
the cotten balls flew an averge of three and 1/2 feet.

Kayla, age 13 of San Antonio, CA wrote:
It was awsome! It went so far. My class was really suprised that one little cotton ball could go that far.

Gunner, age 11 of Las Vegas, NV wrote:
I tried four different things a regular cotton ball, a cotton ball with one piece of masking tape on it, a cotton ball covered with masking tape, and a cotton ball with two rubberbands. The regular cotton ball went 8 feet on the first try and 9 feet on the second. The cotton ball with one piece of masking tape went 8 and a half feet on the first try and 12 feet on the second. The cotton ball that was covered with masking tape went 18 and a half feet on the first try and 18 feet and 7 and a half inches. The cotton ball with two rubber bands went 10 feet 5 inches on the first try and 10 feet on the second.

Sarah, age 9 of Austin, TX wrote:
my first time it went barely over my head and my last time almost hit the celing.

Emily, age 9 of Austin, TX wrote:
I was at a friends house and we did this. first time it hit my head. next it went very far and last it hit the celing.

Natalie, age 12 of Draper, UT wrote:
it was awesom! it flew 60 ft across my yard!!!

Jessica, age 9 of HI wrote:
It was so cool and it went so far! I used it for my assesment at school. It also got displayed at the cariculam fair. It was awsome.

Nicholas, age 7 of Waltham, MA wrote:
The plain cotton ball catapulted 8 feet. The cotton ball wrapped with two rubber bands catapulted 14-1/2 feet! The cotton ball wrapped with tape went 17 feet!! I predicted the cotton ball with tape would go farthest because it weighed more! I was correct! This was fun!

Sierra, age 13 of Winchester, KY wrote:
I loved making it and shooting it.

Braydee, age 10 of Schell City, MO wrote:
My best friend and I did this experiment in Science Club, a cool after school program all about science. I took the spoon and used it as my catapult. I predicted that adding weight to a cotton ball would make it go farther. I took one cotton ball and wrapped all the rubber bands around it. Then I took another cotton ball and wrapped the tape around it. I left the other two cotton balls unwrapped. I set an unwrapped cotton ball on the wide part of the spoon and pulled the spoon back. The cotton ball went about sixteen inches. The cotton ball with tape around it went a couple of yards. The cotton ball with rubber bands around it went a few feet. Another best friend of mine made a catapult that could fling a cotton ball across a large room! This experiment was one of the best I ever did.

Jessie, age 13 of Cortland, NY wrote:
well I did it first and it flew 25 feet and then I did it again and it flew across my yard at about 45 feet!!!

Sabrina, age 10 of Reseda, CA wrote:
When I first made it, it didn't look right. I tried to rearange the parts a couple times and tried them all. None of them worked. Then, my brother came and helped me with it. We finally got it. We tested it out and see who's cotton ball would make it the farthest. My brother won with 11 feet. I only had 9 feet. It was really fun.

Nicholas, age 9 of Lubbock, TX wrote:
It went at least 10 feet high and 15 feet away

Briana, age 11 of San Antonio, TX wrote:
My cotton ball went36 ft. I love; this Project!!

Keisha, age 13 of Turnor Lake, SK wrote:
When I tryed the "Cotton Ball Catapult" it flew 20 feet! & it was aswome;!

Valeria & Jessica of Mcallen, TX wrote:
It went straight, it was really awesome our project came out perfect!

Zeinab, age 9 of Vienna, MT wrote:
it went althe way towrds the celing

Joe, age 12 of Miami, FL wrote:
it flew 20 feet

Afzal, age 9 of Hamtamick, MI wrote:
when I made a catablt it worked it was so cool

Dahmiana, age 8 of Dover, DE wrote:
i tried it with and without the rubber band. the one with the rubber band went 22 feet!

Porko, age 12 of New York City, NY wrote:
I used a rock instead, and it easily flew 20 feet.

Natalie, age 7 of Buffalo, NY wrote:
I made a cotton ball catapult. The cotton ball went over 5ft. This is the first time I've done any of the zoom science projects. It was totally cool.

Connor, age 9 wrote:
The cotton ball with the rubber band went farther then the one without. That was a fun project to make.

Riley, age 9 of Milton, ON wrote:
I used a plastic spoon and cotten balls I tried it a couple times intil I found out it worked.

Caroline, age 8 of Lynbrook, NY wrote:
Well, I used it including other objects but this is what I did; I taped the ruler to a table and then taped the spoon to the ruler. Then I put the cotton ball on the spoon. I used the rubber band to flick it.

Megan of Sacramento, CA wrote:
It was a challenge trying to put it together, but in the end, I got the cotton ball to go 14 feet!

Chad, age 12 of Baton Rouge, LA wrote:
I made the Cotton Ball Catapult and at first I could only get to go 3 feet and the second time I got it to go 10 or 11 feet. I think it is a really cool Zoomsci.

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