PomPom Plunger

A pompom launcher made of folded paper.

In our preschool STEM class, our first challenge is: Can you launch a pompom into the air? We offer several sample designs for launchers, and put out a wide variety of materials. Children can decide whether to build something exactly like one of our samples, or try to invent something new and original. We also challenge parents to think outside the box and create a new design. Here is a great one from one dad – a really cool launcher you can build in minutes with just one piece of paper and some tape. (And the tape is optional!)

Here are the directions, matched to the pictures

1. Fold and tear a piece of paper into two halves.

2. Now fold each of these halves into quarters. The easiest way is: fold it in half and crease it. 3 & 4 Open it up and then fold each of the edges in to that center crease.

5 & 6 Shape each paper into a triangle by overlapping one of the sides onto another. Tape it closed. (optional)

Leave one triangle as is. 7. For the other one, push the sides in to make a three pointed star. 8 & 9 Then crease it to hold that shape.

10. slide the star shape inside the triangle.

11. pull the star plunger down a little to make a space at the top to 12. add your pompom, plastic egg, wadded up paper or whatever else you want to launch.

Then, hold your launcher in one hand, as you pop the plunger up with your other hand, launching your pompom into the air.

Find more pompom launching devices in our What’s an Engineer lesson plan, and learn more about projectiles.

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