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Gearbolt Hydraulic Catapult

Lower Age: 14+
Price: $19.99
Year Added: 2020
Amazon URL:
"A very fun kit to build a real-working catapult with a bucket to fill up endless launching materials!"

Gearbolt Hydraulic Catapult with ball loaded in bucket

Gearbot Hydraulic Catapult by Pathfinders Design is a building kit for ages 14+ (younger children will certainly enjoy it, though, provided that they have appropriate supervision to ensure safety when launching projectiles) that includes everything children will need to build their own hydraulic catapult.

The kit comes with various wooden pieces for assembly, rubber bands, two syringes with a tube, glue, a launching plastic cup, a very detailed instruction booklet, and even some soft clay to use for the projectile! The instructions very effectively walk through the building process. They are easy to understand and everything is labeled to easily match the instructions to the pieces. The written directions complement the visual representations well. Construction itself is very easy. A handy tip: the pieces can be assembled without glue to see that everything is where it’s supposed to be, and then the glue can be added to strengthen the design. Once everything is ready to go, children can try launching their first object. This could be either the provided soft clay or cotton balls or even food (like marshmallows!).

Gearbot Hydraulic Catapult promotes spatial reasoning skills while building the catapult. Children develop different skills like critical thinking, evidence-based reasoning, iterative design, problem-solving, and creative thinking skills through trial and error in trying different theories,  different materials, and different games. Gearbot Hydraulic Catapult is a very fun kit to build, where children have a glimpse of engineering/physics subjects like statics and dynamics. 

Framework Categories

Apply Science, Engineering, Mathematics Knowledge
Engineering Thinking
Spatial Reasoning

Moore, T.J., Glancy, A.W., Tank, K.M., Kersten, J.A., Smith, K.A., & Stohlmann, M.S.  (2014). A framework for quality K-12 engineering education: Research and developmentJournal of Precollege Engineering Education Research, 4(1), 1-13.