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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

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.

Angel, age 9 of Wylie, TX wrote:
Mine went 33 mm. I put down 3 cottonballs to make it go further.

Kristopher, age 10 of San Antonio wrote:
It went sort of far but I did add a rubber ball. But it was still cool.

Matt of Milford, PA wrote:
There were many different designs. This activity was fun! Cotton balls were flying all over!

Kelsey, age 13 of Vilonia, AR wrote:
The cotten ball went 28 feet.

Aidan, age 5 of Cary, IL wrote:
We didn't have any plastic spoons so we taped plastic forks. We shot cotton balls about 21 feet and duct-tape balls about 30 feet -- awesome!!! We thought about using three rubber bands but the power was too scary!

Slade, age 8 of Paradise, CA wrote:
My results: my cotton ball went 10 ft! I love this project. Keep it.

Mrs. P.'s 3rd Grade Class of OH wrote:
We did the cotton ball catapult experiement. We used th cotton balls and spoons. To see who was the farthest, we tested it! The cotton ball with masking tape went 80 inches. The cotton ball with the rubber bands on it went the farthest. It flew 93inches! Who won out of the rubber band ball and the plain cotton ball? The one with the rubber bands on it! We had so much fun together!

Arsanuos, age 10 of Sharon, MA wrote:
I got incredible results:10 ft., 11 inches!

Justin, age 7 of Vancouver, BC wrote:
I launched it 16 feet and my ruler broke.

Allie, age 9 of Hickory, NC wrote:
When I did it the first few times it didn't go so far, but when I did it the last time it went far!!!

Nicholas, age 6 of Lubbock, TX wrote:
I put the spoon on the back of the rulur and the ruber band but I couldn't teel how far it went.

Olivia, age 10 of Plano, TX wrote:
The first time it went 8 feet. The second time it went 11 feet. the third time it went 12 feet!

Rebecca, age 13 of FL wrote:
I used a fork and it worked well. I have a table next a window so I can't tell how far it relly want.

Molly and Martine, age 10 of NY wrote:
Our catapult went about 5 feet. It was sooo cool.

Steven, age 6 of Mesa, AZ wrote:
We didn't have any cotton balls, so we crumpled up tissue and taped them so they were the same size as a cotton ball. Using just a spoon, two of our shots went 20 feet.

Paul, age 7 of Calgary, AB wrote:
When I launched my cotton ball it went 15 feet in the air.

Jessica, age 12 of Bothell, WA wrote:
I used a clear spoon but the cotton ball didn't go verry far. My brother tried taping the cotton ball and he used a white spoon and the cotton ball flew farther than mine did.

Erin, age 12 of New Westminster, BC wrote:
When I did the catapult I made it differently. I used markers taped together, lots of tape and some other stuff. It took a while to get it perfect but now I am happy with the finished result.

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