Balance & Symmetry in the Circus

We explored the idea of balance using this video and activity from the North Carolina School of Math and Science that introduces vocabulary and concepts of gravity, balance, symmetry and center of mass/gravity.  Students then created an acrobat that they tried to balance by moving two paper clips around to different spots on “Balancing Bertie”until successful.  They discover that having the center of gravity below the balancing point is key.

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The next activity with this lesson is done with a popsicle stick, wire, and hex nuts as weights.  It offers more opportunity to explore the same concepts.

As a creative extension, I offered students the opportunity to create “balancing sculptures” at home and then bring them in or share of video of it with the class.  These sculptures connect to Sandy’s mobile sculptures which we’re hoping our art teacher will be able to do with the students in the months to come.


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