Balancing clowns

We invited our parents to work with us during a Family Learning Afternoon in February and set two tasks to explore why objects balance and why they fall over.  The first challenge was to work out a way to balance a lollipop stick on a chopstick using a pipe cleaner. At first it seemed impossible and it took some trial and improvement attempts to crack it. There were many imaginative solutions but the best way involved using pegs as counter-balances. The second challenge was to balance a cardboard clown on your nose. Looking for the centre of balance in a shape and using weights for counter-balance were the most sucessful strategies. A fun afternoon where we did amazing things and learned a lot of science.