The sound of a kid’s laugh as he flings eyeballs and candy pumpkins across the room. This was our morning enjoying a Halloween catapult activity, which made for an awesome Halloween STEM project to explore measurement, science, and engineering with a tray full of goodies.

Easy Halloween Science Experiment with a Halloween Popsicle Stick STEM ActivityPin

Build A Catapult For Halloween STEM

Join us in making this super easy Halloween theme catapult for an excellent Halloween STEM activity. It’s perfect for our 31 Days of Halloween STEM Countdown!

Just a few simple materials, and you can set up a super fun experiment and afternoon activity for the kids.

What Is STEM For Kids?

So you might ask, what does STEM stand for? STEM is science, technology, engineering, and math. The most important thing you can take away from this is that STEM is for everyone!

Learn more about STEM and what it is… here!

Yes, kids of all ages can work on STEM projects and enjoy STEM lessons. STEM activities are great for group work, too!

STEM is everywhere! Just look around. The simple fact that STEM surrounds us is why it’s so essential for kids to be a part of, use, and understand STEM.

Interested in STEM plus ART? Check out all our STEAM Activities!

From the buildings you see in town, the bridges that connect places, the computers we use, the software programs that go with them, and compasses for navigation, STEM is what makes it all possible.

Helpful STEM Resources To Get You Started

Here are a few resources that will help you introduce STEM more effectively to your kiddos or students and feel confident when presenting materials. You’ll find helpful free printables throughout.

Halloween Popsicle Stick Catapult STEM Activity for KidsPin

How Does A Catapult Work

Our original popsicle stick catapult is popular all year round, so why not make this STEM activity a little more spooky or creepy for Halloween hands-on learning? This is a great way to combine play, engineering, science, and math with just a few supplies you probably already have.

First, this is an excellent simple physics activity for kids of multiple ages. What is there to explore that has to do with physics? Let’s start with energy, including elastic potential energy. You can also learn about projectile motion.

You can talk about stored energy or potential elastic energy as you pull back on the popsicle stick, bending it. When you release the stick, all that potential energy is released into energy in motion, producing the projectile motion.

A catapult is a simple machine that has been around for ages. Have your kids dig up a little history and research when the first catapults were invented and used! Hint: check out the 17th century!

More Fun Catapult Ideas

How To Make A Candy Catapult


  • 10 Jumbo Popsicle Sticks or Craft Sticks
  • Rubber Bands
  • Bottle Cap
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Fun Items to Fling! Think plastic eyeballs, spiders, or candy pumpkins!
  • Small Measuring Tape
Building Halloween Popsicle Stick Catapult STEM Activity for Physics ActivitiesPin


STEP 1. Start by securing 8 jumbo craft sticks together at the ends with rubber bands. The bands should be wound tightly.

I always save the rubber bands that come off our produce! Great item to add to the junk drawer. You can find science just about anywhere.

Popsicle Stick Catapult with Jumbo Craft Sticks and Rubber BandsPin

STEP 2. You will then take one stick and wedge it into the stack just above the bottom stick. Make sure to center it in the stack. Place the remaining craft stick on the top of the stack in line with the one you just added.

STEP 3. Secure the tips together with a looser rubber band. It needs to have some give to get a good launch going. Grab your launching items and get started!

STEP 4. Use a glue gun or other strong glue {adult help please} to add a bottle cap to the top of the catapult. This will really help secure your object prior to take off.

Though it is optional but you may need to find alternative items that won’t roll off.

There you have it! A full afternoon or morning of learning and play with some popsicle sticks and rubber bands. Who would have thought you could incorporate science, engineering, math, and even history into such a playful activity.

Challenge your kids to come up with a cool theme for each of the holidays and find holiday-themed items to test and experiment with. Here’s our Christmas catapult!

Making Jumbo Craft Stick Catapult with Halloween Science Experiment and STEM Activity for kidsPin

Turn It Into A Science Experiment

You can easily set up an experiment by testing different weighted items to see which ones fly farther. Adding a measuring tape encourages simple math concepts that my 2nd grader is just really starting to explore.

Always start out asking a question to come up with a hypothesis. Which item will go farther? I think ______ will go farther. Why?

Have fun setting up a catapult to test the theory! Can you design a different catapult?

Explore science, engineering, math and history with an easy Halloween popsicle stick STEM activity Pin

Asking questions is an awesome way to reinforce what kids are learning with a super fun activity. Additionally, you can encourage older kids to record the data by measuring all the launches.

Have your kids fire each material {such as a candy pumpkin, plastic spider or eyeball} 10 times and record the distance each time. What kinds of conclusions can they draw from the information gathered? Which item worked the best? Which item didn’t work well at all.

You can also test out the amount of popsicle sticks used in the stack to create the tension need to launch the catapult. How about 6 or 10! What are the differences when tested?

Learn more about applying the scientific method for kids

More Awesome Halloween STEM Activities

Printable Halloween STEM Activities Pack

150+ Pages of Halloween-Themed Materials!

This Halloween project pack is suitable for home, school, and group use for kids in grades Kindergarten through elementary but is scaleable for many ages and abilities.

What’s Included:

  • 25+ Halloween theme science and STEM activities with printable sheets, instructions, and useful information all using easy-to-source materials perfect for limited-time needs. Includes a Halloween engineering pack with fun, problem-based challenges for kids to solve!
  • The skeleton activity pack includes building a skeleton challenge and a coding challenge! Try a skeleton bones bridge-building STEM challenge!
  • Halloween theme brick printable activities for hands-on learning with math that is perfect for early finishers or home fun and reinforces basic math concepts.
  • Bonus fun pack includes games and activities to round out your Halloween theme activities such as I Spy, bingo, matching, Would You Rather cards, scavenger hunt, word search, A-Z Halloween hunt, and a coloring page.
  • Halloween STEAM Pack includes artist-inspired projects by Warhol, Lichtenstein, and more!