Balancing sculptures

Make amazing balancing structures and explore the science of stability.

three young girls at a kitchen table building a sculpture out of wooden skewers, pieces of carrot and marshmallows
Balancing sculpture being eaten once the experimenting is done, Image credit: The Royal Institution

Aims

Make a balancing toy.

ExpeRiment with the design of your toy to find out what affects whether or not it balances.

Learn about the centre of mass of an object and how it relates to whether or not something balances.

About this activity

Gail Cardew and her daughters, Xanthe, Roxana and Evanthia do science at home. In this experiment, they build increasingly complicated balancing structures to investigate the science of stability and balance. They discover how lowering an object’s centre of mass can affect its balance. Using kebab sticks, sweets, and fruits they get a taste for how important balance is when building everything from sports cars to skyscrapers. By tweaking and developing their designs they perfect their beautiful creations and create increasingly ambitious structures.

18 and 19 August holiday workshops cancelled

Due to planned transport strikes, all holiday workshops on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 August are cancelled.