The Start of the Catapult by Sandy Sanchez

It’s me again!

For my 4th blog post of my 8th grade year. Now we’re well into the 2nd semester. You know what that means? Maker Project time. And I think it’s safe to say that we all are still confused and really don’t know what’s gonna happen at the end. But that isn’t what this post is going to be about. I would like to share with you my experiences so far with the project.

My group is Astrid, Amy, Cindy and myself. We’ve worked together before and are very comfortable with each other. So we decided to do the project together. Now we all like the pathway engineering and decided to do a project based on that. I love engineering and was super excited. But it was really hard coming up with an idea. We all wanted to do with wood construction, but we just didn’t know what. We wanted to do something different from everyone else in the class and also something fun. And I remember just out of nowhere Amy and Astrid both yell out, “Catapult!” And I honestly thought they were joking, but I guess I should have known better!

I remember asking them why in the world would we do a catapult and them saying that it would be so much fun and different from everybody else. That got Cindy onboard. And I was really tempted to say yes that I thought it would be fun, but I just wasn’t sure. Soon they had convinced me and we had our idea:


Client: Athletes who want to practice tennis during off season.

Problem Statement: The athletes can’t practice tennis by themselves during off season. They will need something that will throw the tennis balls for them.

Design Statement: We will design, model, and test a catapult that will throw the balls.

Constraints: Materials, tools, time, budget, be strong, durable, and will satisfy the clients needs.

Deliverables:  We will deliver a working catapult that will throw the tennis balls.

So we had our idea and got the approval! Yay for us! Now we had to start building. But we decided the smartest thing we can do now is build a prototype that will be half the size of our real model. We will make our prototype mostly out of cardboard and make the real model out of plywood. But we realized that we needed to base our design on an actual working catapult. Good thing Astrid had one. So we brought it to class and got to see how it worked and the best ways to build our own. Once we had all our ideas fresh in our heads, we started on the blueprint for the model and the prototype. We decided to laser cut the arms of the catapult since they were one of the only shapes that were too complicated to cut out ourselves. And then we started cutting out the base and the other parts.

Now we are currently finishing up our prototype and changing the measurements as we go. So we’re pretty much right where we should be. Hope it turns out as good as we plan! Here’s a picture of it currently.

Featured image

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