Marshmallow Catapult – Potential and Kinetic Energy


Every object on earth has potential energy. That means it COULD move even if it isn’t right now. When an object IS moving it has kinetic energy. In today’s demonstration you are going to store energy in a spring. That spring will have the potential to move, but it won’t move until you let it move. The marshmallow catapult you make is going to transfer energy from the spring to a marshmallow. The marshmallow will have potential energy until the catapult releases, then the marshmallow will have kinetic energy as it flies through the air.

Watch NASA astronaut Joe Acaba demonstrate kinetic and potential energy on the International Space Station by showing how an object’s potential energy changes.

Websites, Activities & Printables

You can also ask a math and science expert for homework help by calling the Ask Rose Homework Hotline. They provide FREE math and science homework help to Indiana students in grades 6-12.

e-Books and Audiobooks

Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books about Science Experiments at any of our locations, or check out science experiment e-books and audiobooks from OverDrive Kids right to your device! If you have never used OverDrive before, you can learn how to use it for both e-books and audiobooks.

Need more help? Ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text or email Ask-a-Librarian. Additionally, the Tinker Station helpline at (317) 275-4500 is also available. It is staffed by device experts who can answer questions about how to read, watch and listen on a PC, tablet or phone.

Stomp Rocket and Sling Shot Science – How Physics Makes Contraptions Work

For kids who like to tinker and build here are projects books using things around the house to make some fun contraptions like stomp rockets, catapults and sling shots. Other books will teach them about the science behind why these clever mechanical wonders like potential and kinetic energy.

Title - Janice VanCleaveTitle - The Secret Science of SportsTitle - Fairground PhysicsTitle - Launchers, Lobbers, and Rockets EngineerTitle - The Art of the CatapultTitle - Stomp Rockets, Catapults, and KaleidoscopesTitle - Break the SiegeTitle - EnergyTitle - EnergyTitle - Move It!Title - Science Experiments That Fly and MoveTitle - Tinkering