Balance & Motion
The Pencil Trick
Students use a piece of soft wire and clothespins to balance a pencil on its point in a stable position.
Motion of Objects:
Describe the relative position and motion of objects. (PR01 1.1.2)
Counterweights should be placed low on an object in relation to the balance point.
The position of an object can be described by relating its location to another object.
1 Tagboard Hand-and-Pencil Picture
1 Piece of Aluminum Wire
1 Craft Stick
1 Pair of Pliers
Allow students plenty of time to explore.
Remind students to be careful with the wire.
Wire doesn’t stay on the pencil well. It may need to be taped to the pencil in order to get it to balance.
Have students draw in their science notebooks all the ways they were able to get their pencil and wire to balance.
Read Make it Balance by David Evens and Claudette Williams (see the Literature Link).