Thursday, March 7, 2013

Marshmallow Shooters

I like to give the kids a fun activity to do in Science during testing week.  This year, I took them to the gym to practice measuring with marshmallow shooters!

I already had the marshmallow shooters made from this years winter party. So we skipped the making of them step.

First, they had to write a hypothesis predicting what would happen if they shot the marshmallow.

Then they got to shoot! They LOVED this! Once they had all of their trials finished, I let them play games.  Get it in the basketball goal, get it in your mouth, dodge ball (with a slight eye injury!), competitions for different things, target practice, etc.

Here is the lesson plan that I wrote for a Science Pioneers Class:

Title: MeasuringMarshmallows
Author: AprilCremer
Subject Area(s):Science and Math
Grade(s): 4-6
Description ofLesson: Students will measure the distance a marshmallow is shot usingmeters and centimeters
Length of Lesson:45 minutes
Student Objectives:
The students will be able to accurately measure distance tothe nearest centimeter using a meter stick.
Marshmallows, marshmallow shooter (cup with balloon taped tothe bottom), meter stick, video found at,assessment found
1. Show students the video and discuss the different reasons wemeasure things.  Discuss how we wouldmeasure distance.  What tools would weuse? What measurement would we use?
2. Build marshmallow shooters- Cut off the bottom of a papercup. Tie a knot at the end of your balloon. Cut off the top of the balloon.Stretch the balloon over the hole that you cut in the cup.  Tape the balloon on with duct tape.
3. Demonstrate how the shooters work and discuss the rulesof shooting (no shooting at people, etc.). Demonstrate how to accurately measure distance using a meter stick.  Allow for a few practice rounds, so they canfigure out how they shoot. I found that the large marshmallows do not bouncearound as much and are easier to have a more exact measurement.
4. Have students stand at a line with their partner andshoot the marshmallow.  The partner willmark where the marshmallow lands. Together they will use meter sticks to record the distance themarshmallow went.
5. Allow for 3-5 trials, recording the measurement each timeon a data table.

This is an introduction to the metric system, which is usedby scientists and in most countries around the world.

Students will be assessed by playing this game on themedium/hard level (depending on the grade:) 
They must get 80% correct to complete the game successfully.

Missouri and KansasStandards Addressed:

Kansas ScienceStandards:

Standard 1, Benchmark 1: The student will demonstrateabilities necessary to do the processes of scientific inquiry.
Standard 1, Benchmark 2. designs and conducts scientificinvestigations safely using appropriate tools, mathematics, technology, andtechniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data.

Missouri ScienceStandards (GLE’s):

Strand 7.1, Concept B. Scientific inquiry relies upongathering evidence from qualitative and quantitative observations

Strand 7.1, Concept B: (6th Grade) d. Measure length to thenearest millimeter, mass to the nearest gram, volume to the nearest milliliter,temperature to the nearest degree Celsius, force (weight) to the nearestNewton, time to the nearest second

Photographs of another version and directions formarshmallow shooter:

Note: I found that the paper cups with duct tape held up thebest.  The plastic cups were harder tocut, and bent/cracked. 

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