The event was held indoors at the Manitou Art Center. Like all good scientists, our young scientists in this event quickly learned that environmental surroundings can help or hinder their experiment (catapulting mini marshmallows or 0.25-oz fruitcakes). About 42 feet from the catapult line was the wall. This caught many of the long-range catapults that weren't able to aim through the doorway. For those who made it through the doorway, there was a hallway that was about 20 feet long, followed by another 20+ feet of downward slope. Since the marshmallow division was judged on the roll (unless it hit something and rolled backwards), our young scientists figured out that a re-shaped (ball) marshmallow did the trick. All of the young scientists also had to attempt to not shoot too high and hit a beam.
We're sorry not everyone was able to stick around for the actual distance competition. Next year, we'll have things put together a little better. For this year, our goals were to 1) have fruitcake fly in Manitou for 2014 and 2) engage kids with the fun of science (it was great to watch the kids tweak their catapults and discuss with their friends how to make them fling fruitcake and marshmallows the furthest).