Play with objects on a teeter totter to learn about balance. Test what you've learned by trying the Balance Challenge game.
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To display the results from the previous activity, each student designs and constructs a mobile that contains a duplicate of his or her original box, the new cube-shaped box of the same volume, the scraps that are left over from the original box, and pertinent calculations of the volumes and surface areas involved. They problem solve and apply their understanding of see-saws and lever systems to create balanced mobiles.
This image shows the relative positions of the fulcrum, load and effort in a first, second and third class lever. First class lever is load, fulcrum, effort. Second class lever is fulcrum, load, effort. Third class lever is fulcrum, effort, load.
Students explore methods employing simple machines likely used in ancient pyramid building, as well as common modern-day material transportation. They learn about the wheel and axle as a means to transport materials from rock quarry to construction site. They also learn about different types and uses of a lever for purposes of transport. In an open-ended design activity, students choose from everyday materials to engineer a small-scale cart and lever system to convey pyramid-building materials.
In this activity, learners explore center of gravity, or balance point, of stacked blocks. Simple wooden blocks can be stacked so that the top block extends completely past the end of the bottom block, seemingly in a dramatic defiance of gravity. A mathematical pattern can be noted in the stacking.
In this open-ended design activity, students use everyday materials milk cartons, water bottles, pencils, straws, candy to build small-scale transportation devices. They incorporate the use two simple machines a wheel and axle, and a lever into their designs. Student pairs choose their materials and engineer solutions suitable to convey pyramid-building materials (small blocks of clay). They race their carts/trucks, measuring distance, time and weight; and then calculate speed.