Monday, April 23, 2012

Homeschool Physics

 Teetering in the Garden: Lessons in Physics


Teeter Totter Physics

  • A teeter totter is technically a form of lever in which the fulcrum--where the teeter totter is hinged--is placed exactly at the center. When two equal weights sit at equal distances from the fulcrum, the teeter totter is equally balanced. Any small force applied by either end will cause the teeter totter to move up and down.
    Hold Still, Jesse!
    This equal balance can be changed in two ways. If the two weights are unequal the teeter totter will tend to descend on the side of greater weight. To move the teeter totter, the heavier child needs to push harder to get off the ground. Riders can also upset the equal balance of the teeter totter by sitting at different distances from the fulcrum.


 Riding a Teeter Totter with Different Weights

  • The physics of the teeter totter shows the way to allow two children of different weights to successfully ride the equipment. For best results, the heavier child should sit closer to the fulcrum than the lighter child. The lighter child's increased distance from the fulcrum will make up for the lesser weight. This can be tested by both children sitting on the teeter totter at differing distances from the center. When the teeter totter moves easily with the slightest effort from the children, they are balanced.



Way to Study, Kids!

Analyzing Data and Drawing a Conclusion

Communicating Results

*The donkey ears are not an official part of the experiment.

1 comment:

  1. Did they make marks on where each of them should be to balance?