# A Weighty Matter

The weight of an object determines how hard it is to move it. Heavy objects require more force to move than light objects

Try It!

Materials

• Pencil
• Rubber band
• Large paperclip
• Duct tape
• Ruler
• Stuff to weigh

Procedure

1. Tape a pencil to a table.
2. Tape a rubber band around the pencil.
3. Straighten a paperclip until it makes an “S.”
4. Hang the paperclip off the rubber band, as shown.

You have just created a simple scale. You can “weigh” things by hanging them off the paperclip. The rubber band will stretch a little for light objects, and a lot for heavy ones. You can see the force needed to overcome gravity and keep the object from falling, by measuring the rubber band! (Don’t weigh really heavy objects or else you’ll overcome the force of the tape and pull your scale off the table!)

Now “weigh” several things by hanging them off the paperclip. Complete a table, like this one, with your results.
 Item Weighed Length of Rubber Band

The rubber band was long for heavy objects. It was shorter for light ones. You have just demonstrated that it takes more force to overcome gravity for a heavy object than for a light one!

Download the plug-ins: , and . (The QuickTime plug-in is needed to play sounds and movies correctly.)

Want to share photos of you or your friends doing this activity? Send it in an e-mail with the following information:

1. The title of the activity