Balancing Your Chi- An Experiment in Weight, Lego Style

Liam’s current obsession in Lego Chima.  Over the past few weeks, I have become well-versed in the adventures of Laval and Cragger.  I can name all the tribes.  I understand that the Chi, the powerful element that fuels the land of Chima, must be equally balanced among all the tribes or there will be catastrophic consequences (earthquakes, floods, Donald Trump will become president).

The kids were off from school for Labor Day this past weekend, which meant we had a lot of time to fill.  I turned to another trusty book of science experiments to find an activity to pass some of the morning.  An experiment in balancing weight, courtesy of Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments by Mike Adamick seemed like a perfect opportunity to capitalize on this love of Chima.

Dad’s Books of Awesome Science Experiments

The experiment is very easy.  It requires a pencil, a ruler, tape, and a few items of equal weight to balance.  In Adamick’s version, he used pennies.  We used Lego pieces that are supposed to be Chi.

The first step is to tape the ruler down to keep it from moving.  Next, balance the ruler on top of the pencil so that it is perpendicular.  It will take a few attempts to find the exact spot.

Then begin adding weight to each side.  You can ask a thinking question such as “I placed a piece of Chi on the number 2 on this side of the ruler.  What number would I need to place a piece on the other side to create balance?”

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Once you have the basic experiment done, you can begin to play with other options.  How many pennies would equal the weight of a piece of Chi?  Would a paint stir stick provide the same results as the ruler?  Why is it more difficult to do the experiment with a popsicle stick than a ruler?

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I was REALLY surprised at how long the boys played with this one.  I thought after they balanced it once, the experiment would be old news.  But they kept doing it over and over.  Liam created one side of the ruler for the lion tribe, and another side for the crocodiles, and when it would get out of balance would exclaim “The lions need more Chi! The crocs have too much!”

Think of what your little one is into, and see if you can adapt this activity to interest them.  Happy experimenting!

 

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