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.


Anonymous said...

Your boys would definitely enjoy our project then. Try it with the forks and then have your husband (or you) do the fire bit. They'll be impressed and it definitely ties in with what they have been studying!

naomi said...

I'd like to do something like this with my 6 year old, which actually teaches the logic behind balance.

Yelli said...

Science projects are always good! Isn't it fun how to see the light bulbs go on? :)

Melitsa said...

Thanks for the book idea. I've been thinking of more ways to get the most out of our library visits especially using the non-fiction section. I think my boy would like to try something like this too.

So Smrt said...

How simple! That just shows that you don't need a lot of "stuff" to do a "project." My problem is that so many of my great ideas involve fantastic amounts of glue, glitter, tape, paint, and clean up!