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Counterweight STEM Challenge

Students will learn about gravity as they build this counterweight system to move an apple. The gravitational force exerted by the Earth pulls objects downward. Using this principle, students will create a device to move an apple up a ramp without touching it.

This resource is aligned with the following standards:

NGSS 5-PS2-1. Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down.

Utah SEEd Standard 3.3.3
Construct an explanation that the gravitational force exerted by Earth causes objects to be directed downward, toward the center of the spherical Earth. Emphasize that “downward” is a local description depending on one’s position on Earth. (PS2.B)

STEM Engineering and Gravity


They started the lesson by giving us an apple and a flat board.  We were to prop up the board to make it into an inclined plane. Then we were challenged to move the apple without pulling it or pushing it with our hands. We were given a few more materials and here are some of the ideas. 

 
Most students used what they knew about simple machines to create a pulley system and use counterweights.   
 
 

 
Some students added extra rate to really make it fly!
 

 
Students can learn about gravity and make a counterweight system in this unit. Gravity and a STEM Challenge 
 
Great critical thinking and great use of science and engineering standards!
 
 
This unit is available in two places. You can download it here on teachingscience of in my TPT Store.
 

Both downloads are identical in every way – if you download directly from this site, you’re giving me the maximum amount of support! Either way, your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed.

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Thank you, and I hope you enjoy using this unit in your classroom!

 
STEM Engineering and Gravity

Chemical Reaction in Glow Sticks

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