A craft stick or popsicle stick chain reaction is a brilliant example of how potential energy and kinetic energy work. As you weave the lolly sticks together you can actually feel the potential energy building.

How does a popsicle stick chain reaction work?

The sticks are bent and pinned over each other which creates tension. When you release the end stick the tension and potential energy are released making the sticks fly through the air.

Popsicle Stick Chain Reaction set up and ready to fly - outdoor science for kids #scienceforkids #outdoorscienceforkids #chainreaction #popsiclestickcrafts

I first saw a lolly stick chain reaction at a conference held by the Primary Science Teaching Trust and couldn’t wait to show my children, we’ve since made hundreds of different sizes and even added small pom pom balls to add to the excitement.

What you need for a popsicle stick chain reaction

Lots of craft sticks or popsicle sticks, we used slightly thicker sticks than normal.

How to make a popsicle stick chain reaction

Set up your chain reaction using the photos below as a guide. It can be a bit tricky, but totally worth the effort.

Step 1

Step 2

Popsicle Stick Chain Reaction Step 2

Step 3

Popsicle Chain Reaction Step 3

More Chain Reaction Ideas

How long can you make your chain reaction?

What do you think will happen if you add pom poms?

Could you add something a little heavier than pom poms? Would they jump as high? – remember to stand back

You might also like our egg chain reaction!

There are more chain reaction ideas in this great post from Frugal Fun for Boys.

More Popsicle Stick Activities

Design and build a popsicle stick catapult. This is another great activity to demonstrate kinetic and potential energy.

We also really love the look of these Exploding Boomerangs from I Can Teach My Child.

These popsicle stick bridges from Mommy Evolution look great too.

Craft stick chain reaction challenge - or popsicle stick chain reaction challenge - make a fun chain reaction with popsicle sticks to learn about kinetic and potential energy #scienceforkids #scienceexperimentsforkids #forcesforkids

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The post Craft Stick ( Popsicle Stick ) Chain Reaction appeared first on Science Experiments for Kids.

Originally posted at Science Sparks