Sunday, January 18, 2009
Unplugged Project : Balance
We finally got another chance to participate in an Unplugged Project. I have really missed doing them and wanted to get back into it this week. So I was super-excited to see this week's theme - BALANCE - and knew immediately what I wanted to do.
We read a lot of science books from the library and one topic we seem to hit a lot is simple machines. As soon as I saw the theme was balance, I thought of a lever and remembered that one of our current library books even had some ideas for activities related to levers.
The book is called How Things Work:Lifting by Levers by Andrew Dunn. The activity is to balance a ruler (we used a tongue depressor) and experiment with moving some quarters around to get it in balance. I don't want to explain all the science here but it was very cool. We started with 1 quarter on each side and equal distance from the center (fulcrum) and then added a quarter to one side and discussed how we could get it back in balance. There are several ways, one is moving the single quarter further out.
Anyway, I am probably not explaining it great but we had a really fun time and I know it made levers a lot clearer for me and hopefully for my six-year old too. Check out the book at your local library and you can try it too!
As I was writing this, I felt like I had written about simple machines before. Turns out for a previous unplugged project we also made a simple machine, a pulley out of tinker toys.