Monday, September 28, 2009

Homemade Scale

Sweet girl has been learning about measurement in Science. When she first started the unit she was not that thrilled. "I have to do Math in Science?"
Her feelings have changed. She has had an in depth study on the metric system and understands it much better than when she began. Some of the experiments and reading about the history of measurement have made learning about it more enjoyable. She had an investigation the other day which involved comparing the mass of objects. She constructed this balance out of everyday household items to complete her assignment. I wanted to share how to assemble the balance with you.

Items you will need:
  • a ruler
  • a nail
  • a rubber band
  • two medicine cups
  • some clay
  1. Use the rubber band to fasten a nail across the center of the ruler. If it is loose, double the rubber band.
  2. Use pieces of clay to stick a medicine cup to each end of the ruler.
  3. Rest the nail on two jar lids, blocks, or another object to raise it off of the table
  4. Balance your ruler by adding more clay to the light end and or by moving the rubber band toward the heavy end.
  5. Select the unit of mass you will use. Objects that are readily available in your room make good mass units. Ex. paper clips, paper fasteners, or small washers.
  6. Use your balance to find the mass of each object. Order them from the heaviest to the lightest.
  7. Make a graph w/ your data.
  8. Have fun!

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