Big Stick Balance Easy Science Experiment
In this fun and easy science experiment for kids, we’re going to explore balance and the center of gravity. You may be surprised how easy it is to balance a big stick on your fingertips.
- Hold a yardstick on your outstretched pointer fingers on both hands.
- Be sure to have your fingers out to the furthest edges of the yardstick.
- Move one finger slowly toward the center of the yardstick.
- You may be surprised that the yardstick remains balanced.
How it Works:
When you start moving your fingers toward the center of the yardstick, one end will become heavier and push down harder on the finger on that side. This adds more friction and keeps the yardstick from sliding across that finger. The yardstick then slips over the other finger, until enough of the yardstick is on that side to make it weigh more. This increases the friction on that finger and causes the other side to start slipping. This back and forth slipping action is what causes your fingers to wind up at the center of gravity which is the balancing point.
Make This A Science Project:
Try other long items. Try adding a few coins on one end of the yardstick and determine the center of gravity. Add different amounts of coins and see if the center of gravity changes.