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Set It Straight


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    WGBH

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Set It Straight

In this activity, learners build a simple tabletop seesaw to test how different variables (the position of the fulcrum, distance, weight) affect its balance under increasing weight loads. Extension activities encourage learners to build a multiplatform seesaw and to make and adjust the balance on a hanging mobile.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Type:
Activity

Language:
English, Spanish

Materials List (per student)


  • Seesaw platform (e.g., ruler, paint stirrer, large craft stick, or yardstick)
  • Tape
  • Toilet-paper tube
  • Weights (e.g., pennies or metal washers)

Subjects


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories


  • Arts and Crafts
  • Model Building
  • Toys

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

  • WGBH

Source Collection:

  • FETCH! With Ruff Ruffman

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, WGBH Educational Foundation, ©2007

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation, 0610406
  • Public television viewers
  • Arby's
  • Greendog

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