Balance & Motion
Students make tops from plastic disks and straws, and spin them. After finding the arrangement of parts that produces the best top, students make tops from other materials.
Nature of Forces:
Describe forces in terms of strength and direction. (CH01 1.3.1)
Objects and systems that turn on a central axis exhibit rotational motion.
A force is needed to start a top spinning.
The amount and position of mass affect how an object rotates.
2 Large Plastic Disks
2 Small Plastic Disks
1 Slim Plastic Straw, White
1 Paper Clip
Crayons or Markers
1 Student Sheet #5 called Spinning Designs
Have students work in small groups.
Some students need help sliding the straws on to the disks.
• Cut the straw at an angle on one end.
• Insert the straw into the side of disk that has the mold marks.
• If the straw is too loose, try another straw.
Place materials in group bags ahead of time for easier distribution.
Students can spin tops on desks or on a hard floor.
Have students answer this question in their science notebooks, “How can a spinning top be changed?”
“Push or Pull” in the FOSS Balance & Motion - Science Stories book, page 10.