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Virtual Kids Club: Winter 2021

Activity

A Question of Balance

The Challenge: Using available materials, can you design and build a balancing sculpture?


Before You Begin

Try out these two experiments before you begin this challenge:

  • Stand on one foot for as long as you can, and have someone time you.
    • What happens?
    • How do you maintain balance?
    • Do you have to use any of your body parts to help stabilize yourself? Which ones?
  • Now, try balancing a ruler or a pencil on your outstretched finger.
    • What happens?
    • Can you keep it balanced? How?

Key Concepts

Balance: an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

Stability: the ability to remain balanced and not fall.


Procedure

  

 

Keep what you learned from the prior two experiments in mind as your plan, design, and build your balancing sculpture. Also think about your sculpture design and what materials you have around your home you might use.

  • Gather your materials. Think outside the box and re-use materials you might normally throw away in the trash or recycling bin.
  • Create your design. Sketch out some ideas with a pencil and paper. Remember to keep in mind the materials you have gathered to use.
  • Create a stable base. This is going to be the foundation for your sculpture, so the more sturdy, the better.
  • Begin the build. Start one layer at a time, only moving to the next once the current layer is stable.
  • Experiment and adjust! Things will definitely fall and shift as you build your sculpture, so adjust and adapt your design, as necessary.

 

 


Materials

  • Experiment with objects of different weights and sizes.
  • Experiment with art or office supplies, kitchen utensils, corks, wooden skewers, chopsticks, bottle caps, even fruits or vegetables! Let your imagination run free.
  • Free free to use connectors like modeling clay, binder clips, paper clips, rubberbands, or clothespins. 
  • You might want to use scissors or other tools to help cut or adjust your materials.

Questions to Think About Afterwards

  • What supplies did you use for your balancing sculpture? Which ones worked better?
  • What kind of sculptures have you seen in real life? Were they balancing sculptures? Why or why not?

Booklist

Get in balance with some good books from our booklist for elementary school students.

Virtual Show and Tell