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Launch an Object - Engineer Inside

Launch an Object

Can you launch an object using only things around your house and some science know-how?

What should I do:

  • Get an activity sheet by clicking on the big grey box link below
  • Follow the steps as you go down this page
  • Make notes and observations as you go
  • Experiment, tinker, and engineer!
  • Write up your experiment

Ideas and Inspiration

Click the arrows to see more.

1 / 5
We've launched lots of different things
2 / 5
Wilfred's Catapult
3 / 5
Make an elastic powered ballista!
4 / 5
A milk bottle can launch rockets?!
5 / 5
Chemical reactions can power rockets too.

The next sections are all laid out in the same order as the activity sheet. Make lots of notes and draw your designs - that's what good science is about! If you're 11-14 you can read more about each step in the Good Science Guide


Find examples and materials from around your house that you think could be useful. Use your imagination! Make a note on your activity sheet of your ideas and think of objects that can fly safely and tools which might help you to launch an object.

Hints and Tips

Next, have a look at our experts' hints and tips - how did they approach this challenge?

Dr Antony Allen

3 Creations for the price of 1

Printable transcript

Dr Phil Jemmett

Putting air under pressure

Printable transcript


Find out how you can build your creation! Take your ideas and inspiration from your activity sheet, or any new ideas you've picked up from our hints and tips, and start to plan how you're going to build and experiment.


It's time to predict what is going to happen! On your activity sheet make some predictions and plan how you will measure whether your creation has been a success. Remember that a hypothesis is a statement that you can test - a longer arm on my catapult will launch my object further or a lighter object will go higher

So, you've got an idea in mind? Before you start testing anything out, make sure you've filled in the activity sheet so far. Then make sure that you've asked an adult for help and have a think about how to stay safe while doing an experiment.


Try your creation out - how well does it work?

  • How can you measure how successful your creation has been?
  • Was your hypothesis right?


So you've tested it out - did it work well? Have you learnt anything in the process? Now is the time to try and find out a bit more about what you've done.

Expert Creations

Let's find out how our engineers got on with what they created!

Dr Antony Allen

#1 - Levers and Catapults

Printable transcript

Dr Antony Allen

#2 - Elastic Powered Cannon

Printable transcript

Dr Antony Allen

#3 - Air Powered Cannon

Printable transcript

Dr Phil Jemmett

Putting air under pressure

Printable transcript


Having seen our engineers create their own experiments and test them out - do you have any ideas for how you could make your creation better? Try them out - see if you can get better results and measurements than you did the first time around!


How are you going to tell other people about your results? What's the best way to share your new-found information?