(Grades 3-6)


After returning from camp with their archery experience fresh in their minds, students will relate this experience to science. They will try out a hands-on experiment shooting rubber bands.  Then they will play a computer game that teaches velocity and angle.



  • Students will be able to relate archery with aspects of physical science
  • Students will understand that the amount of force and the angle on the projectile results in where the projectile ends up.


Grade Levels:

  • Grade five: The amount of change in movement of an object is based on the mass of the object and the amount of force exerted.
  • Grade six: An object’s motion can be described by its speed and the direction in which it is moving.


  • Rubber bands (could also use play bows and arrows or nerf guns.
  • Computers with internet access
  • Lab sheet handouts
  • Sidewalk Chalk (1 piece per group)
  • Measuring tape (1 per group)
  • Pens


  • Classroom
  • Outside on the blacktop (can be modified to a hallway or gym)
  • Computer lab if classrooms do not have individual computers or tablets


  • Introduction                                            –                                              30 min
  • Rubber Band shoot Lab                      –                                              1-2 hours
  • Computer Game                                    –                                              45 min – 1 hour


“Think back to our experience in the archery class. What caused the arrow to travel all the way to the target? How come it did not stop sooner? What happened if you drew the string back all the way to your cheek? What happened if you only drew the string back halfway?

Is drawing the string back the only thing that affects how far the arrow will go?” No. It is not. “What else do you think might affect where the arrow ends up?”

Gravity: Gravity is the invisible force that keeps us connected to the ground. If you throw a ball into the air, gravity is what makes it fall back down. Gravity is constantly pulling everything down. During archery, you should be aware that your arrow is not going to fly in the direction you shot it forever. Gravity will eventually bring it down to the ground. (For another resource to teach students about gravity, there is a Magic School Bus episode that addresses this concept).

Wind: Wind may also affect where your arrow ends up. A small wind may blow the arrow a little bit off target and a big wind may blow the arrow a lot off target. Archers can get very good at determining where the wind is going and how fast. They can adjust where they aim so that the arrow goes where they want it to.

Angle: “Do you think that there is a difference if you aim straight ahead of you or straight up in the air? Which way do you think would cause the arrow to travel farther? What about if you made the angle halfway between the two?” (Take a vote with the class to see which they think would go farther).


Rubber Band Shooting Experiment

“We are going to investigate how angle affects the distance of the arrow. Because we do not have access to bows and arrows here, we will shoot rubber bands instead.” (Have students get into lab groups and pass out the lab sheets. Explain the procedure and experiment. Teach the students how to shoot rubber bands and then take them outside. If you do not know how to shoot a rubber band, you can look  )

(Alternatively, you could also use this as an opportunity to insert scientific inquiry into the lesson. Present the question to the students but do not hand out the procedure worksheets. Have the students work in their groups to form a hypothesis and come up with a method to test it out. The students will follow their method to find the answer to their question. They can either use the provided data sheet or make their own data sheets. The question that will be investigated is: Do rubber bands travel farther if they are shot straight ahead or at a 45 degree angle?)

Safety: Be sure to tell students not to shoot each other or not to shoot if anyone is in the path of the shooting. Remind them of the safety rules at the archery range.

Computer Game

The students can also investigate how angle and velocity work together to determine where the projectile will end up. Students will work in pairs and compete against each other. Have students go to the following website:

They will follow the directions on the screen. Each student plays as a gorilla. The point is to throw an exploding banana at your opponent by entering in the angle and velocity. Students will use a trial and error method to complete this activity.

After the game, have the class come together to discuss what they learned and how it relates to archery.

Archery and Angles Lab Sheets


  1. Take the measuring tape and make a straight line on the blacktop in front of you.
  2. Use the chalk and make a line at each foot.
  3. Shoot the rubber band straight ahead of you so that it is parallel with the ground. Record how far the projectile traveled.
  4. Repeat this so that everyone in your group has the chance to shoot.
  5. Now shoot the rubber band at a 45o angle up in the air. Record where the projectile landed.
  6. Repeat this so that everyone in your group has the chance to shoot.
  7. If there is time, experiment with different angles of shooting.

What is the question you are investigating?


What is your hypothesis? What do you predict and why do you predict this?


Angle Student 1 Distance Shot Student 2 Distance Shot Student 3 Distance Shot Student 4 Distance Shot Student 5 Distance Shot Student 6 Distance Shot
Straight Ahead
45 degrees


Which angle allowed the rubber band to be shot farther?


Why do you think this happened?


Did this support your hypothesis? Why or why not?


How does this experiment relate to archery?