After learning about levers, students can explore how levers work by doing this simple activity. All you need is a ruler, a pencil, a cotton ball, and a yard stick! The pencil becomes the fulcrum as the ruler is placed on it at the 6-inch mark, the 3-inch mark, and then the 1-inch mark. The cotton ball becomes the load and students try to see which fulcrum placement launches the cotton ball the highest. Students work in partners to hold the yard stick and launch the cotton ball, and then record their results. This challenge sheet includes the materials section, the procedure section, the hypothesis section, and the results section.
This activity goes well after reading, highlighting, and discussing levers with my Levers information page.