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Tops


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    Community Science Workshop Network

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Tops

In this activity, learners discover that some things only stand up while they are spinning. To explore this phenomenon, learners build tops from household items such as CD's, paper plates, cups, and craft sticks. Learners will discover that the weight and radius of each top plays a role in the amount of momentum it has to spin. The launcher is also used to demonstrate one of the simple machines of physics: the wheel. Basic tools (e.g. drill) and plaster are required.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan

Language:
English

Materials List (per student)


  • 1 48 in. Dowel, 1/4 in.
  • 1 Stiff paper plate, big
  • 1 Stiff paper plate, small
  • 3 Film cans or salsa cups, with lids if possible
  • 1 Film can lid, for CD top
  • String, strong
  • 4 Popsicle sticks
  • 1 Paint paddle
  • 1 CD
  • 1 1/4 x 2 fender washer
  • 2 7mm nuts
  • Plaster
  • 4 Little cups to measure plaster
  • 1 Basin for water
  • 1 cup for plaster top
  • 3 2x2 bases for plaster tops
  • Drill
  • 15/64 drill bit
  • Drill platform
  • Side cutter
  • Glue gun
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Files to make points less sharp

Subjects


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Circles
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Work and Machines
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Gravity
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Rotation Motion
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process

Informal Categories


  • Arts and Crafts
  • Toys

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

  • Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop, ©2011

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