The Center of Mass Interactive is an adjustable-size file that displays nicely on smart phones, on tablets such as the iPad, on Chromebooks, and on laptops and desktops. The size of the Interactive can be scaled to fit the device that it is displayed on. The compatibility with smart phones, iPads, other tablets, and Chromebooks make it a perfect tool for use in a 1:1 classroom.


Teaching Ideas and Suggestions:

This Interactive is intended for use in the early stages of a learning cycle on center of mass and balance. Learners can modify the shape of an object by dragging it out with thier mouse of their finger (on a touch screen). The center of mass is indicated by the circular icon and it dynamically updates as the shape is modified. Students can be challenged to explore questions like ...
  • Where is the center of mass located for a symmetrical object?
  • Where is the cneter of mass located for an assymetrical object?
  • Can the center of mass ever be located outside the boundaries of an object? If yes, then under what conditions?

Once an object is drawn, it can be hung from any given point on its surface. Once hung, the object will swing back and forth about the pivot point (i.e., the pin) until it settles into position. The pin can be moved to other positions, allows students to explore how the location of the pivot point affects the manner is which it hangs. Students can be given the open-ended challenge of determining the relationship between the center of mass and the pivot point.

As of this time, The Physics Classroom has not prepared any activities for use with this Interactive. We are confident that teachers who use our website will come up with plenty of great ideas for using the Center of Mass Interactive and we invite you to share those ideas with us. Please share your ideas on our social media websites:


Related Resources

Drats! If we had more time, we would have more resources. As of this writing, there are no resources at The Physics Classroom that pertain to the topic of the center of mass and balance. We expect that someday that will change. We don't know when "someday" is but we assure you that we are pedaling as fast as we can.


The Physics Classroom would like to extend a special thanks to Nerd Island Studios for the creation of this HTML5 Interactive. Visit to see more great stuff by Nerd Island Studios.

Visit: Interactive.