Learning Library

Balancing Act: How does Gravity Affect Balance?

(45 ratings )

Medium

Minimal

None

4-6 weeks

Objective

This project explores the relationship between gravity and balance. The goals of this project are:

• To conduct experiments in balance.
• To discover the ways in which we utilize balance.

Materials and Equipment

• Computer with Internet access
• Color printer
• Digital camera
• Typical office/hobby/craft supplies (paper, pens, poster board, glue, etc.)
• About a dozen 4-inch metal nails
• Raw eggs

All materials can be found in your home, at local stores, or on ebay.

Introduction

Gravitational force is the tendency of objects to move toward other (larger) objects. Earth is a very large object, compared to other objects we know, so everything falls toward earth. When an object is supported in such a way that there is equal weight on both sides of the support, the object is said to be balanced.

Research Questions:

• What gives us our sense of physical balance?
• What technological inventions rely on physical balance?
• Why is it easier to balance on a moving bike than on a still bike?

Terms and Concepts to Start Background Research:

• Angular Momentum
• Center of Gravity
• Equilibrioception
• Vertigo

Experimental Procedure

• Read overview of relevant topics (see bibliography below and terms listed above)
• Address all of the above research questions.
• Search and print out interesting images that depict physical balance. These could be pictures of gymnasts, skaters, sculptures, mobiles, or anything that seems appropriate.
• Also, take photographs throughout the course of your experiments.
• Attempt the nail balancing act described in the link below.
• Practice balancing raw eggs on their ends. It's been said that this can only be done on the first day of Spring. True or false? How many eggs can you balance?
• Design your own unique balancing experiment (optional).
• Interpret your findings in a detailed report.
• Include interesting photos and models in your science fair display.
• Have an egg-balancing contest for your science fair visitors.

Bibliography

1. http://mechanicalphysics.suite101.com/article.cfm/why_is_balancing_a_moving_bicycle_easier (Notes on angular momentum)
2. http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/airplane/cg.html (Center of Gravity)
3. http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiment/00000083 (Nail balancing act)
4. Internet searches of your choosing. Search any of the words or terms listed here, or make up your own phrases to search. Click on any results you find interesting. Have fun surfing the net!

Disclaimer and Safety Precautions

Education.com provides the Science Fair Project Ideas for informational purposes only. Education.com does not make any guarantee or representation regarding the Science Fair Project Ideas and is not responsible or liable for any loss or damage, directly or indirectly, caused by your use of such information. By accessing the Science Fair Project Ideas, you waive and renounce any claims against Education.com that arise thereof. In addition, your access to Education.com's website and Science Fair Project Ideas is covered by Education.com's Privacy Policy and site Terms of Use, which include limitations on Education.com's liability.

Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state's handbook of Science Safety.

Create new collection

0

New Collection>

0 items

What could we do to improve Education.com?