Gravity and Muscles

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In this activity about center of gravity (page 23 of PDF), learners investigate how the body adjusts to the force of gravity to remain balanced. In part 1, learners use different amounts of weight and meter sticks to explore balance and stability. In part 2, learners will conduct two experiments to explore their own centers of gravity. This guide includes background information, extensions, and data sheets.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • heavy-weight balance or bathroom scale
  • poultry scissors or small saw
  • 2 bathroom-sized paper cups
  • 6-10 heavy, stackable items (bricks, cans, reams of paper or books)
  • 1/3 cup dried beans
  • sheet of corrugated cardboard
  • 1 long bone from a chicken leg or thigh that has been cooked and cleaned
  • magnifiers
  • copy of "Balancing Act'" and "Balancing You" student sheets


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • Muscles and Skin
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Measurement
    • Reasoning and Proof
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Center of Gravity
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Baylor College of Medicine, 2000

Funding Source:

  • NASA, NCC9-58