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Pop Fly

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In this hands-on engineering design challenge, patrons experiment with levers to launch a ping pong ball as high as possible!

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Teacher's Guide

Provides classroom connections, key concepts, connections to science standards, and additional resources.

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Add a Tech Twist Optional: Try using a slow-motion camera to capture just how high the ping pong balls travel!
Hints for uses in your library Please be mindful of patron safety and ensure that no one is standing too close to the "launch site."

Try this next!

- Increase the number of balls you launch. Redesign your launcher so it can send two balls in the air at the same time.
- Play a launch and catch game. Set up a target in your landing zone and challenge a friend to a launch and catch game.
- Think big. Make a supersize pop fly launcher.

This activity can easily be expanded by using other commonly-found materials around your library! For younger patrons, try making a connection by asking them about see-saws.
Remind patrons to utilize the engineering design process. Failure is OK!
Related Links Levers at Play Activity
Levers at Play How-to Video
Originating Source PBS Design Squad
Related Books
[Suggest a book]
These children’s books all deal with various themes involved in engineering such as the engineering design process, specific projects such as building bridges or houses, and perseverance through failure.

• Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
• Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty
• Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
• This Bridge Will Not Be Gray by Dave Eggers
• Cross a Bridge by Ryan Ann Hunter
• What To Do With an Idea? By Kobi Yamada
• Ish by Peter H. Reynolds
• Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
• The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
• The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
• How a House is Built by Gail Gibbons

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Pop Fly

Pop Fly

In this hands-on engineering design challenge, patrons experiment with levers to launch a ping pong ball as high as possible!