If they can make the see-saw balance in this physics activity, kids will get an exercise in cooperation -- and learn how scales work, too. See-saws are excellent examples of physical principles at work in a kid's world.
If your future Einstein has ever wondered how the scales at the doctor's office works or how small weights can balance larger weight, use a see-saw at the nearest playground to held him or her find out.
What You'll Need:
- Two or more partners
NOTE: Before you begin, agree that no one will jump off the see-saw while another person is sitting on it. The sudden jolt can cause serious injury.
First, sit on one end of the see-saw and have your child sit on the other end. Is the see-saw balanced? Have the heavier person move toward the middle of the see-saw until it balances. Notice that neither of you changed your weight; only your position changed.
Now have two people sit on one side of the see-saw and one person
on the other. Decide together how to move people so that the see-saw becomes level. Should the two people move to the middle, or should the single person move?
Now that your child has explored the physics behind balance, go to the next page to learn about the physics of an object in flight.