Crazy Catapults inspired by the Romans in Yorkshire

Challenge Instructions

The Romans are invading Yorkshire and are planning to attack the forts in the region. You are Roman Engineers and it is your task to design and build a catapult that will help the Roman army attack.

You will then take part in a Roman Invasion Challenge to test the effectiveness of your catapult.
There are 3 challenges for your catapult to compete in:
1. Most accurate catapult to hit a target at a distance of 5-7m
2. Fastest to destroy a fort wall made of boxes
3. Craziest and most creative design as decided by our judge


All catapults must be freestanding.

All catapults must be under 1 metre high.

Marshmallows will be used as missiles and will be provided at the event; they must not be tampered with.

Catapult must first pass a safety test by host museum.

All catapults must be designed and made by children aged 11 or under.

Making a Catapult

To help you to design the most effective catapult we have included some experiments to investigate the main principles involved in catapult design:

Strength of catapult structure


Energy transfer  


When designing your catapult remember the challenges that it will have to compete in. The catapult will need to be accurate and fast firing.


Think about the distance that the marshmallow will need to travel and design you catapult to an appropriate size. Remember you will need to transport your catapult to the firing range so make sure it is easy to move too. The website links page has lots of sites showing different catapult designs. Remember be as creative as you can.

Document icon Learning article provided by: Creative Minds | 
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