Testing Falling Peanut Butter Sandwich Myth

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In this activity related to rotational inertia (page 1 of the PDF under SciGirls Activity: Microgravity), learners will use a bit of scientific experimenting to test if open-faced peanut butter sandwiches really do always land peanut butter side down. Learners will also test other variables, such as drop height, size of bread slice, and whatever else learners can think of, to arrive at some sound conclusions. Relates to the linked video, DragonflyTV: Microgravity.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • slices of bread
  • peanut butter
  • a ladder, a table, a chair
  • a meter stick or tape measure
  • a mop!
  • optional: paperback books instead of sandwiches


  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
    • Measurement
      • Rate
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Projectile Motion
      • Rotation Motion
      • Center of Gravity
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • About Inquiry
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

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

Culture, ethnicity, and gender

  • Girls

    • Highlights STEM opportunities for this group
    • Identifies role models or mentors in STEM fields from this group
    • Uses inclusive images of people from this group


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • DragonflyTV


  • All rights reserved, Twin Cities Public Television, Inc., 2006

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 436260