Balance Beam

The Balance Beam Interactive provides a tool to investigate the factors that affect the ability for different masses placed upon opposite sides of a balance beam to balance. Masses can easily be dragged to hooks along the beam, causing the beam to rotate downwards on the side it is placed. The challenge involves placing a different mass on the opposite side to counteract the first mass. By so arranging the masses to obtain balance, a learner can look for the patterns in the data - amount of mass and location of the mass from the fulcrum - in order to discover the rule of balance. Once you have discovered the rule, take the quiz.

Launch Interactive

Users are encouraged to open the Interactive and explore. Once the rule has been discovered, a built-in quiz is available as a self-assessment of understanding. For a more guided experience, The Physics Classroom has prepared a classroom-ready exercise for use with this Interactive. The exercise guides students to an understanding of the rule of balance. It is intended for use by teachers with their classes and can easily be used along side the use of the built-in quiz. View Exercise.

Learners and Instructors may also be interested in viewing the accompanying Notes page. Technical information, teaching suggestions, and related resources that complement this Interactive are provided on the Notes page. View Notes.


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