Spider Launcher

At KiwiCo, we love launchers because they're a super fun way to play with physics! With this project, your kids can turn a few rubber bands into a stretchy web that launches spiders across the room. While they make their launchers, you can talk to you kids about potential and kinetic energy!

Step-by-step tutorial

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    There are a lot of different kinds of launchers: cannons, slingshots, catapults. And while they may look different, they all get their power the same way! And rubber bands are a great way to demonstrate this. Ask your child to stretch out one of the rubber bands by holding one side with their left hand and pushing out the other side with their right pointer finger. Make sure no one is around, and then tell your child to release their left hand so that the rubber band flings forward. Now, you can explain that two different types of energy are used to make a rubber band fly. When the rubber band is stretched out, but not moving yet, potential energy is building up. When the rubber band is let go, all that potential energy makes the rubber band move — fast. That's kinetic energy!

  • Step 1

    Gather your materials!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    Cut the construction paper to fit the tube. Then, wrap it around the cardboard tube and glue it down.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    Glue the lollipop sticks around the outside of the tube, creating a square. Let the glue dry completely for approximately 1 to 2 hours before beginning the next step.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Step 4

    Stretch one rubber band around all four posts. Then, twist each corner of the rubberband and re-stretch it around each post.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Step 5

    Push down the first rubber band. Then, stretch a second rubber band around all four posts.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

  • Step 6

    Stretch the first rubber band up and over the second on each post.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 6

  • Step 7

    Repeat steps 5 and 6 two more times.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 7

  • Step 8

    Place a spider in the rubber band web.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 8

  • Done!

    Pull back on the web and point the launcher in the direction you want to shoot the spider. Then, let go!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 9

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