Catapults were ancient war machines used to throw huge rocks at castle walls. Nowadays — in a much-smaller form — they can be a fun way to learn about physics and engineering.
At the Great Southwest Council’s El Valle Manzano District Fall STEM Camporee in New Mexico, Scouts built mini-catapults that tossed bean bags up to 10 feet. The object was to “sink” an opponent’s “fleet of ships.”
They also built vehicles powered by rubber bands and complex paper airplanes, and the Scouts whose machines went the farthest were the winners.
Real-life bungee-cord jumping is not an authorized Scout activity. However, at the STEM camporee, Scouts experimented with action figures and rubber bands from a fixed height to figure out exactly how safe (or unsafe!) it could be.