NSF Tech-Explorer  

The Tech-Explorer projects were developed by the Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT), Sierra STEM Collaborative and  Sierra College National Science Foundation grant to:

  • Bring applied academics to middle and high school classes
  • Use project-based learning to make academic concepts meaningful
  • Promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers

Learn more about the project, and find instructions, equipment, catapult lesson plans and other documents. Watch the movies: STEM Tech-Explorer Catapult – Sierra School Works Applied Math  and Sierra College NSF Tech-Explorer teaches applied Math & inspires STEM Careers. See the CCCAOE Spring 2011 PowerPoint: Tech-Explorer – Instructional Strategies to Engage All Students.

In May 2010, Sierra College was awarded a National Science Foundation Grant to integrate math modules into the catapult building project and provide professional development through STEM Academy to teachers. Read more about the NSF funded Tech-Explorer project

Read the final report summary. Sierra College NSF Tech-Explorer Project Outcomes 1



There are now manual, electric, solar and electronic versions. Some schools have their own tools and are building catapults. Other CACT offices are offering this project. The Sierra College NSF grant will add math lessons to the Tech-Explorer project.


For information in Placer or Nevada Counties, contact Sierra College CACT at 916-660-7801. Elsewhere in California, contact your local Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) through cact.org. To help others develop similar projects, this site includes instructions, equipment, documents, catapult lessons and news.