ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Fast and Easy Science Fair Projects: A Lopsided Pinwheel

Updated on December 30, 2019
Click thumbnail to view full-size
ScissorsCardboard box, standing at least foot highPiece of thin cardboard, oak tag, or standard size construction paperA push-pinThreadMetal washerPencil
Scissors
Scissors
Cardboard box, standing at least foot high
Cardboard box, standing at least foot high
Piece of thin cardboard, oak tag, or standard size construction paper
Piece of thin cardboard, oak tag, or standard size construction paper
A push-pin
A push-pin
Thread
Thread
Metal washer
Metal washer
Pencil
Pencil

This is my 29th hub on Fast and Fair Science Fair Projects and my first one this year! This one is extremely easy and fun! I'm sure you'll enjoy reading and trying out this one too, especially kids! Have fun!


Balancing points of oddly shaped objects

Purpose: How to discover the balancing point of irregularity shaped objects.

Overview: The balancing point of a square or circle is easy to find. You must need to measure. It's right ar the center of it, as long as the object is basically two-dimensional or flat; that is, doesn't have a significant amount of depth (a rock or glob of clay is definitely third-dimensional).

     The balancing point, however is not always in the center. It's the point at which, if an axle is placed through it, an object can be spun like a wheel and it will stop at a different spot every time. Is it possible to find the balancing point of something flat, but that has an odd unsymmetrical shape?

Hypothesis: Hypothesize that you can find the balancing point of an irregularly shaped piece of stiff paper or cardboard.

You need:

  • A push-pin
  • Piece of thin cardboard, oak tag, or standard size construction paper
  • Cardboard box, standing at least a foot high
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Metal washer
  • Pencil

Procedure: Draw an irregular shape on a piece of thin cardboard, oak tag, or constuction paper and cut it out with scissors. You may draw something like the six-sided shape shown here. Although the cut-out shape will be really three-dimensional (it has some depth, or thickness, as well as length and width), for the purposes of our project, this third dimension is so small we can assume it will not affect the results.

     Set a cardboard box on the table. Near one edge at the top of your shape, place a push-pin through your object and into the edge of the cardboard box, you can use a cork bulletin board or a piece of plywood, as long as it is kept perpendicular to the ground (standing up straight). Do not push the pin in all the way. Swing the object back and forth to be sure it can move freely.

     Tie one end of a piece of thread onto the push-pin and tie a metal washer, use any object as a weight to cause the string to hang straight down (a large paper clip, for example). We are going to use gravity to make sure the line we draw will be perpendicular (at a 90-degree angle) to the ground. The thread must also hang straight down and be hanging freely, not hung upon any-thing. With a pencil, draw a line tracing the path of the string across the object.

     Next, take out the push-pin, turn the object about 90 degrees (it does not have to be turned an exact amount), and push the push-pin into a point near the top edge and through to the cardboard box. Again, hang a thread from the push-pin and draw a line tracing the path of the string as it falls across the surface of the object. The shape of the pbject is our Variable; gravity and the line with the washer hanging down are Constant.

     Where the two lines intersect (where they cross) is the balancing point of the shape. How do you do this?

     First you can verify it by turning the object once again and repeating the hanging of the thread from the push-pin, drawing a third line. That line, too, should cross at the sams spot where the other two meet. Other similar lines will also cross there.

     Second, prove that this is the balancing point by pushing a push-pin through that intersecting point and into a stick, making a pinwheel-like toy. Give the object a sin a number of times. Each time it should stop at a different point.

Results and Conclusion: Write down the results of your experiment. Come to a conclusion as to whether or not your hypothesis was correct.

Something more: 1. Place numbers all around the edges of your shape to make a spinning "fortune wheel" game (in this case "Hexagon of Fortune"). You and your friends can guess what number it will stop on when given a good spin. Try turning your object into a pinwheel by bending up some of the edges to catch the wind.

2. Draw and cut out more objects, each with a different number of slides or some irregular shapes. Find the balancing point of each object and prove it. Or you and your friends can guess where the balancing points will be and find out, using methods above, which comes closest.

Thanks for reading this one! Hope you liked it! If you want more on Fast and Easy Science Fair Projects, you can try my other Hubs relating to the topic. Here are five of my Latest Hubs on Fast and Easy Science Fair Projects for you:

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)