Maya’s Mysteries: Reaching New Heights

"Peaceful actions are like a catapult! Both can have far-reaching effects!"

“Consider how they who are the loved ones of God must conduct themselves, and to what heights they must soar.”



In ancient times, a catapult was a marvel of engineering. In battle, it hurled stones or arrows for great distances. It used a central lever, attached to a spring and to a fixed support called a fulcrum. The lever was pulled back to store energy in the spring. It was released, then—whoosh! The force sent the object into flight!    

Today, catapults have advanced. A steam-powered version can help an airplane take off from the deck of a ship at sea in just seconds!   

Scientific knowledge is a powerful force. But it’s not enough to create a peaceful, happy planet. We need spiritual qualities, too. Both science and religion work together to help us find solutions to Earth’s problems—like war, poverty, and hunger. When we combine science with virtues such as respect and generosity, humanity reaches new heights.     

What peaceful actions will you launch today?


Make a Cool Catapult

You’ll Need: Duct tape, paper towel tube, 9" x 11" (22.9 x 27.9 cm) box or shoebox lid, craft stick, ruler, plastic spoon, pen, rubber band, brass paper fastener, mini marshmallows

Step 1: Tape tube to box lid (fulcrum).



Step 2: Tape stick to spoon (lever bar) so they overlap 1" (2.5 cm).



Step 3: Use pen to make hole in top of tube. Put lever inside and secure with tape.



Step 4: With pen, punch hole in box about 2 ½" (6.4 cm) in front of tube. Insert fastener and fit rubber band around it snugly.



Step 5: Wrap rubber band around center of lever so it’s taut when pulled backward. Tape in place. Add marshmallow, pull back, and release!

How it Works:

The rubber band stores potential energy when you pull back the lever. This energy is transferred to the lever when the band is released. It’s turned into kinetic energy, or energy of motion, so the marshmallow goes flying.

For a printable version, download a PDF of this experiment

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