Torque Balancer


The Torque Balancer 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 middle to later stages of a learning cycle on balanced torques and equilibrium. We think that it is a great follow-up to some lab work, some in-class practice, and the use of our Balance Beam Interactive. The Interactive consists of 12 different problems organized into three levels of difficulty. More difficult problems include more weights hanging from the beam. The mass values and the locations of the grey weights are randomly selected; it would be relatively rare that two side-by-side students would have identical problems. A problem is solved by positioning an orange and (for Levels 5 on) a blue weight on the left side of the beam with sufficient mass to create enough torque to balance the net torque produced by the weights on the right side of the beam.  If a problem is missed, the student is notified and then given a similar problem using the same rules for the random generation of mass and hook location. If a problem is answered correctly, then a star is placed next to that problem on the Main Menu.

Teachers with Task Tracker subscriptions for the Physics Interactives with Concept Checkers have the ability to remove a problem or two in order to shorten the activity or to simply provide the proper blend of difficult and easy problems for their classes. Since Task Tracker code is embedded directly in the Interactive, student progress will be stored in our Task Tracker database. Those teachers intending to use this Interactive without a Task Tracker subscription can do so without any compromise of the student's experience. However, customization and storage of stuent progress is not possible without a Task Tracker subscription.

Related Resources

We added numerous resources to our website during the 2022-23 school year (and beyond) on the topic of torque and rotation. Here are a few that might blend well with the use of this Interactive.
  • The Calculator Pad:
    Our recently-revised Calculator Pad section has a complete collection of problems on all sorts of torque and rotation topics. There are 14 problem sets on the topic of Torque and Rotation. Each successive problem set becomes progressively more difficult than the one before it and they would make great follow-ups to this Concept Builder.

    View Rotation and Torque at The Calculator Pad


  • Physics Interactives:
    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. The simulation includes a built-in quiz and an accompanying Concept Checker.

    Visit Balance Beam Interactive.


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