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Circus-Trick Science: How to Balance Anything

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by Teisha Rowland, PhD
Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
physics, balance, mass
Balancing a triangular marshmallow structure on a finger.

Introduction

Have you ever wondered why it is harder to keep your balance with a heavy backpack on? Or why it is difficult to make a toddler's sippy cup tip over? Maybe you are the kind of person who wonders about circus balancing acts and would like to learn how to ride a bike on a rope. Or perhaps you want to know how to make your toy car less prone to toppling over when racing through a sharp curve. In this science activity, you will get to investigate balance using marshmallows, skewers, and toothpicks. Sticky, yummy balancing fun!

Credits

Teisha Rowland, PhD, Science Buddies
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,150 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

Materials

  • Large marshmallows
  • Toothpicks
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Paper and a pen or pencil

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Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
physics, balance, mass