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# To investigate what affects how far a margarine carton can be catapulted.

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Introduction

Margarine Carton Investigation

Aim:

To investigate what affects how far a margarine carton can be catapulted.

Infomation:

Below are the different factors that can be varied to affect the distance that margarine travels when fired from an elastic band.

Weight Of The Carton-

Depending on the weight of the carton the distance it travels will vary.  If the carton is heavy it will travel less than if it was lighter.

Surface-

No matter how smooth a surface is, it will always have imperfections.  Depending on the surface the carton will be travelling on there will be different amounts of friction.

Length Elastic Band Is Stretched-

Energy can be stored in elastic materials.  When an elastic band is stretched it stores potential energy.  Depending on how much the band is stretched it will vary the distance the carton travels.

Shape Of Carton-

Middle

Apparatus:

During my experiment I will use the following equipment:

Lab Stool

Elastic Band

Margarine Carton

Ruler

Weights

Safety:

I do not think that my investigation is particularly dangerous but if the margarine cartons are becoming hazardous I will take the necessary precaution such as goggles and making sure that nobody is in a dangerous position.

Method:

I will attach my elastic band to the bottom of the lab stool on two of its legs.  I will then apply enough weight on the stool so it does not move and place the carton next to the band. I will the pull both the carton and the elastic band back at the same time when firing.  I will measure how far I pull back the elastic band, how many Newton’s this is and how far the carton travels.

To keep my experiment a fair test I will keep the following things the same.

Conclusion

My prediction was correct, when you increase the length the elastic band is stretched the carton is fired further.  My second prediction was also correct because when more weight is added to the carton it travels less.

Evaluation:

I think the method I used worked well because I carried out my investigation efficiently and with good results.  If I did my investigation again I would try to make my results even more accurate by using a ruler with more accurate measurements.  I think my results were accurate but I could improve the accuracy by repeating the experiment over and over and taking the average.

If I had more time on this investigation I would try a number of different things.  Firstly I would try changing some more variables such as the surface the carton travels on and the shape of it.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Height and Weight of Pupils and other Mayfield High School investigations section.

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