In the Classroom: Marshmallow Launchers

Anne Phillips subbed for a 5th grade class at Burnsville Elementary School. Students had been studying force and motion, principles of friction, potential energy, kinetic energy, inertia and momentum – and she brought it all to life with a really fun project. She gave the students a materials list (PVC pipe and connectors) and a blueprint and had them build the marshmallow launcher that was pictured. Once they built their launchers they tested them and observed, measured and recorded the results. Students then had the opportunity to build launchers of their own design. They discussed why (or why not) the new launchers performed as expected. Some kids were pleased with their designs and others spent quite a bit of time modifying them and retesting. Some preferred a more streamlined better-performing launcher, while others enjoyed a more sculptural kooky launcher. Form vs. function.

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Penland School of Crafts
NC Arts Council
Community Foundation of Western NC

Teaching Artists

Anne Phillips
Pat Benard

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