Circus-Trick Science: How to Balance Anything

Topics: Skewer, Wood, Science Pages: 2 (431 words) Published: December 7, 2012
Ever wonder why it is harder to keep your balance with a heavy backpack on? Or why it is difficult to make a toddler's sippy cup tip over? Maybe you are the kind of person who wonders about circus balancing acts and would like to learn how to ride a bike on a rope. Or perhaps you want to know how to make your toy car less prone to toppling over when racing through a sharp curve. In this science project you can learn about balance using marshmallows, skewers, and toothpicks. Sticky, yummy balancing fun! II. TITLE

Circus-Trick Science: How to Balance Anything

The objective of this science project is to create marshmallow-and-stick constructions, observe the forces that enable you to balance them, and understand why those forces act the way they do.materials. IV. MATERIALS

* Toothpicks (at least 30)
* Wood or bamboo skewers (at least 20)
* Large marshmallows (1 bag)
* Optional: Camera.

1. On a skewer, place one marshmallow in the middle and one on each end 2. Place the tip of your finger under the middle marshmallow (as shown in Figure 3 above) and try to balance the structure on your finger. Can you balance it? Is it easy or difficult? If you cannot balance it, move the middle marshmallow a bit to one side or the other until you find just the right spot that enables you to balance the structure with your finger. 3. This is your Basic Structure. You will use this structure as a starting point for building all your other structures in this Project Idea. 4. The middle marshmallow in the basic structure will be your original balance point. For all the structures you build, you will always use this original balance point as the first place you go when trying to balance the structure on your finger. 5. Once you can balance your basic structure, poke a toothpick pointing up into the top of the marshmallow in the center of the skewer. Add one...
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