Q:

What are some ideas for entertaining center of gravity demonstrations?

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Quick Answer

Some entertaining center of gravity demonstrations include balancing on a curb and balancing a pencil on its side and tip. Each demonstration uses hands-on techniques to make it fun and accessible.

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Full Answer

When balancing on a curb while trying to walk, first do so without aid, noting that it's difficult to balance because mass is all distributed vertically. Next, add balance poles to adjust mass distribution outward. This makes balancing much easier, similar to the way a tightrope walker use a pole on a high wire.

To balance a pencil, start with it on its side to see how gravity is centered with mass evenly distributed on either side of the pencil. Then, when the pencil is on its tip, notice how it is extremely difficult to balance because all of its mass is above it. Try adding washers using wire, and notice how it becomes easier because there is mass both above and below the balance point.

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