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Take It From The Top: How Does This Stack Up?

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    The Exploratorium

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Take It From The Top: How Does This Stack Up?

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.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Exhibit


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 15-20 uniform, flat rectangular blocks


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Center of Gravity

Informal Categories

  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, The Exploratorium,


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