The trebuchet is a medieval device, not unlike a catapult, that was used in warfare to hurl damaging objects from afar into areas that were otherwise inaccessible, such as over castle walls and into forts. You can make your own desktop trebuchet out of Popsicle sticks, to ambush passersby with fun items like cotton balls or popcorn, or you can make several and have a trebuchet battle with your friends.
Place two Popsicle sticks together, end-to-end. Place a third Popsicle stick on top of the first two, laying it over the middle where they meet. Tape the Popsicle sticks together using masking tape. Repeat until you have nine sets of tripled Popsicle sticks.
Tape three tripled Popsicle sets together at the ends. Bend the sticks at the taped "hinges" to form a triangle. Tape the open end so that the sticks will stay in the triangle shape. Repeat this process to create three taped triangles.
Place two of the triangles together, edge-to-edge. Connect the triangles by wrapping a piece of tape around one of the sides, overlapping both triangles.
Open up the doubled triangles so that they create a three-dimensional "V" shape. Stand the "V" shape up on a table.
Place the third triangle on a flat surface, and slide in into the "V"-shaped nook created by the other two triangles. Tape the triangles together with masking tape. This forms a pyramid.
Place three new Popsicle sticks together end-to-end. Place two more Popsicle sticks on top of the other three, centring them over the places where ends meet to create one long stick. Tape the entire structure.
Tape a paper cup to the end of the tripled Popsicle sticks with the opening facing up.
Tie a rubber band around the top of the Popsicle pyramid.
Loop the loose end of the rubber band underneath the tripled Popsicle stick containing the paper cup. Tape the rubber band onto the stick about 1 inch below the paper cup.
Insert the bottom of the tripled Popsicle sticks into the notch of the pyramid farthest from the end of the tripled Popsicle sticks.
Place a small object into the cup, pull the trebuchet back, and release to let the object fly across the room.