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The Physics of Falling Toast

Will a piece of buttered toast land buttered side up or down if it falls to the floor? Students can find out with a hands-on science activity.

The Physics of Falling Toast

The Physics of Falling

If a piece of buttered toast is dropped from the height of a table, will it land buttered side up or down? If it falls the same way from a higher vantage, will the end result be different? Does the result change if you cover the toast with peanut butter instead? How about jelly? What happens if the piece of buttered toast falls off of a table instead of being dropped? Does this change the outcome? Why or why not?

What variables make a difference in how the toast will fall and which side lands up? Students can experiment with a science activity that is easy to do at home or in the classroom. With a bit of deliberate toast dropping, students can put gravity to the test, explore physics, and practice data gathering and analysis.

Directions for this family- and classroom-friendly student science activity can be found in the Falling Buttered Toast activity at Scientific American.

Making Connections

Students who enjoy this exploration of physics and gravity may also enjoy hands-on science activities like these:

This Science Buddies STEM activity is posted at Scientific American in the Bring Science Home area.

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