Your Week at Camp

Galileo Summer Quest

Catapult Builders

Project Spotlight


Campers will learn an array of carpentry skills as they build a working wooden catapult. They’ll use hand and power tools to assemble the frame and throwing arm. Campers will explore the dynamics of potential energy, testing and fine-tuning their device to propel objects to great heights, across long distances or with amazing accuracy.

BE COURAGEOUS: I freely share my creative thoughts and embrace challenges

Daily Breakdown


Campers will get familiar with the tools they’ll be using to build their catapults, reviewing safety tips and practicing carpentry skills by building a simple target. Campers will need to be courageous to embrace challenges and learn new skills, and will begin building the frame for their catapult later in the day.

Ask your camper: What was it like to practice with carpentry tools? Was anything easier to get the hang of than you thought it would be? More challenging?


After finishing their frame, campers will create the torsion spring mechanism to power their catapult. Some parts may be tricky, but they’ll have a building partner who they can rely on for support. Once the foundation is completed, campers will be visionary and begin developing a clear vision for the customizations they’ll want to make to their catapult later in the week.

Ask your camper: How did you make your torsion mechanism? How will it work?


Campers will practice being collaborative as they brainstorm different bucket designs for their catapult. They’ll first test with a simple cup design, then build on the ideas of others to create a functioning bucket design that they’ll use in a collaborative competition.

Ask your camper: Were you able to build off the ideas of others today? Were other campers able to build off your ideas?


Campers will revisit their original design plans and choose what customizations are most important to them. They’ll build, test and evaluate as they add new features, making changes and redesigning as needed.

Ask your camper: What customizations are you creating for your catapult? Did you make any mistakes today that you were able to use as opportunities to redesign your original vision?


Campers will decorate their catapult and continue to make improvements in preparation for the end-of-session tournament. They’ll need to be reflective in order to fine tune their catapults, diligently recording results while testing, and writing notes of advice for the next week’s catapult builders class. At the end of the day, campers will be able to show off their catapult’s accuracy, distance, and consistency in the Tournament of Launchers.

Ask your camper: What final adjustments did you make to take your catapult to the next level? Would you make any other additions or changes if you had another day to work on your catapult?

Camp Continued

Activities and outings to build on this week's experiences

  • Level up your fantastic flinger, or design a new siege machine, using the catapult tutorials at Instructables as inspiration.

  • Pick up a copy of Launchers, Lobbers, and Rockets Engineer to inspire your next round of projectile innovation.

  • Invite friends over for a catapult building session. Work together to design and redesign a mega-catapult, or build separately and face off in your own Tournament of Launchers.

  • Explore an existing passion – or try something new – at, an online community for kids to challenge their inner Minecrafters and so much more.

Galileo Innovation Approach

The Galileo Innovation Approach® (GIA) is our guiding principle. The GIA is at the core of every activity your kids do at camp, from Pre-K all the way to 8th grade. Having a Galileo Innovator’s Mindset, Process and Knowledge makes a lasting impact on the way children think, explore and create.

1. The Innovator's Mindset: How Galileo innovators approach the world

I am Visionary

I am Courageous

I am Collaborative

I am Determined

I am Reflective

2. The Innovator’s Knowledge:What Galileo innovators need to understand

Concepts and Facts

Historical Context

Skills and Techniques

Audience and Environment

3. The Innovator’s Process:How Galileo innovators innovate

Read more about the GIA