Force
Forces and Motion

Sixth-Sense Toy

Enrichment Activity for 5-11 11-14


What you need

  • Walking toy or object that will slide
  • About 50 cm of string
  • Rubber band
  • A small lightweight bag
  • Paper clips and binder clips

Instructions

  1. Fix a rubber band round the object and tie the string to it
  2. Put it on a smooth table and attach a small bag to the end weighted down with paperclips and binder clips to make a small weight
  3. With the object about 30 cm from the table edge, try out different weights until it will start to slide if you give it a gentle push

Results and Explanation

When you push the object, it will slide till it reaches the edge of the table, then stop. If you're using a walking toy, it should stop walking at the edge.
The force on the toy from the weight acts sideways and downwards, so the string is pulled diagonally, but only the sideways part of it keeps the toy moving forward. As it nears the table edge, the angle of the string changes until there is no part of the force moving the toy forward, so it stops. Some walking toys come with a weight attached, which is why they stop.

IOP DOMAINS Physics CPD programme

Energy CPD videos

Our new set of videos gives teachers and coaches of physics a preview of the training we offer ahead of this term's live support sessions.

Find out more