Balance It! - Directions


How it Works:

Using the Balance It! Interactive is quite simple. There are 20 difficulty levels and each difficulty level involves the same task - you are given one or more angled forces and you must add one east-west force and one north-south force to the object in order to establish an equilibrium. Above the grid with the angled forces is a button titled Add a Force. Tapping on this button pops up the Force Pad along the right side of the Interactive. You can tap on the Direction button to toggle through the four possible directions of the added force - east, north, west, south, repeat. Once you are satisified with the direction (you can always change it later), you can tap on the force buttons to set the magnitude of the added force. The force is immediately drawn on the diagram as a blue arrow. Its magnitude and direction are shown below the diagram. You have to repeat this process for a second force. One of the forces must be east or west and the other force must be north or south. There will be blue arrows for these two forces on the diagram. As long as you have two forces in these directions, a Check Answers button will be visible. If you wish to edit a force, simply tap on the force field below the diagram; this will pop up the Force Pad and you can alter your force. Once you are finally satisfied with your answer, tap on the Check Answers button. Feedback will be immediate and your Progress Report will be updated. Your goal is to earn "Stars" and to complete one or more difficulty levels. Stars are earned when you show success on a particular level. 


Getting Help

You will notice that there is a Help Me button on the bottom right side of the Interactive. You should learn to use this feature of the program. It's how you can turn an exercise in answering questions into an exercise in learning. Tapping on the Help Me button will open a page with help that is specific to each question. Of course, the Help pages are only helpful if you read them. So take the time to read them. Each Help page contains four sections: a discussion of the The Basic Idea, a sample question from the Question Group, a section titled "How to Think About This Situation", and a set of links to resources in our Tutorial section. You should pay attention to the section titled How to Think About This Situation. You will find what you need to know in the two or three paragraphs of this section. You will also become a better Physics student for doing that. That is, after all, the goal of such an activity as the Balance It! Interactive​.

Thanks for being patient with the Directions. Happy learning!