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In the Investigating the Rattleback Bowl Laboratory Kit for physical science and physics, learn about rotational motion, friction and conservation of energy while designing a rattleback—an object that has a preferred spin direction.

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A great value-two inquiry-based labs in one! Students learn about rotational motion, friction and the conservation of energy as they design the best “rattleback”—an object that has a preferred spin direction. When a rattleback is spun the “wrong” direction, it wobbles and then actually reverses its spin to the “correct” direction. In the first part of the experiment, students use the scientific method to investigate the properties of a rattleback. In the second activity, students use the rattleback to study the surface tension of water and buoyancy. Students float their rattleback on water and then fill the rattleback bowl with water. Watch as the rattleback bowl appears to bend the surface of the water and then actually floats below the surface before sinking. Perform the same experiment in soapy water and the result will be quite different. This engaging introductory lab is simple and hands-on, yet quantitative.

Kit includes student worksheets, background information, complete instructions, and enough materials for 30 students working in pairs. A celt (AP1972) is also provided for teacher explanation.