Lesson Plan

Tinkering with Tops

Get kids' heads spinning by challenging them to design a top that will rotate for a minimum of 10 seconds without leaving a 30-cm circle. Groups of learners collaborate through a planning stage, testing stage, and evaluation stage. Some reading is provided on the history, anatomy, and types of tops, and on angular momentum for older pupils.

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
  • Reproducible lab sheets guide groups through the entire process
  • Can be used to address Common Core State Standards for scientific literacy or reading informational text
  • Hands-on activity unleashes creativity and encourages teamwork
  • None