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Catapult (Learn Physics with Fun)

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Let's Learn Physics with fun! A catapult is a simple machine (lever) which is being used for a very long time. It is used to launch an object (we can use ping pong ball) in a projectile at a greater distance. In this, the base acts as a fulcrum on which the arm pivots. The launching force is provided by the rubber band in tension. When the catapult arm is pulled back energy is stored (Potential Energy) and when we release the arm the energy is converted from elastic potential energy to kinetic energy of the projectile in motion. When the arm hits the stops, the projectile sets in motion. This is due to Newton's first law (An object in motion stays in motion and in rest will stay at rest until an external force acts on it). This Catapult provides learning with experiments. In this, one can set various launch angles and pull back angles, change the number of rubber bands, and also the type of balls. It provides a better understanding of the relation of each variable with the distance traveled. This could be a great fun experiment for school kids. They can record the data and create graphs to provide a visual representation of each variable. Many experiments can be set up like hitting a target spot, max. height, max. distance, etc.   The commercial versions of such experimental kits are around $45 to $55. This design can be easily 3D printed below $10 (more than 75% cheaper). Such a kit will also provide school kids exposure to 3D printing technology and might inspire them to design and print some fun toys or tools for them. 

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Author:
rajatgadhave

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