Power of Words
Enrichment Activity for 5-11 11-14
What you need
- A table
- A ruler
- A newspaper
- Lay the ruler on the table so about a third of it hangs over the edge
- Carefully lay a single sheet of newspaper flat on the table and over ruler
- Hit the end of the ruler with your hand – the ruler stays where it is!
- What happens if you try again, but this time with the sheet of newspaper folded up?
Results and Explanation
The flat sheet of newspaper has a large enough area so that the downward force of the atmosphere counters the upward force from the ruler. But the folded-up newspaper has a much smaller surface area, so doesn’t stop the ruler from going flying when it’s hit.