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A Candle Seesaw Balancing Act

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1 review
Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
Physics, gravity, force, lever, mass
burning candle seesaw top view

Introduction

Do you love playing on a seesaw? Why is it that depending on where you sit on the beam, and the weight of the person on the other side, you either fly up into the air or fall down to the ground? And why is it so difficult to perfectly balance the seesaw? It can all be explained with physics! In this activity, you will investigate the balancing forces of a seesaw—with a seesaw made of candles!

Credits

Svenja Lohner, 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

  • Two identical birthday candles
  • Strong tape
  • Needle that is longer than the candle's diameter
  • Aluminum foil
  • Knife
  • Two glasses the same height
  • Lighter or matches
  • Adult helper
    Materials needed to build the candle seesaw

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Active Time
20-30 minutes
Total Project Time
20-30 minutes
Key Concepts
Physics, gravity, force, lever, mass