Bouncing Yo-Yo

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In this activity, learners build unique yo-yos, which spin round and round without moving up and down. Learners can construct their yo-yos out of wood using a saw and drill or more simply, out of a paper plate. Use this activity to explore angular motion, center of gravity, and energy. Note: a drill and saw may be used during this activity, but are not included in the cost of materials. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • 1 piece of thin wood
  • 3 foot piece of string
  • 1 nail
  • 1 pencil
  • 1 paperclip
  • 6-12 in. wire or string
  • drill
  • saw
  • 2 paper plates (optional)
  • stapler (optional)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mathematics
    • Geometry
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Potential and Kinetic Energy
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Acceleration
      • Rotation Motion
      • Center of Gravity
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop


  • All rights reserved, Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop, 2011

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