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Make a see-saw candle

Suitable For

Grade 4



Time Required

 <12 Hours



What’s it about?

All objects have weight, because the earth’s gravitational force pulls them down. Two identical objects can be ‘balanced’ when suspended from a horizontal beam at an equal distance from a centre pivot point or ‘fulcrum’, because the gravitational force acting on each object is the same.

If one of the objects would have a slightly different weight, the horizontal beam would tip in the direction of the heavier object, as can be seen in the following science experiment:

Topics covered

Gravity, Balance point, Fulcrum

What will I need?


Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

In this science experiment a balance is made by using a candle as a horizontal balance beam, with the fulcrum created by the nails. Before the candle is lit, the balancing point is in the centre of the candle. As the candle burns and a drop of wax falls from one end, the balancing point moves to the other side and the see-saw tips toward the heavier side. The see-saw will continue to go up and down for a while as the candle drips from one end and then the other moving the balancing point from one side to the other.

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