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ERIC Number: EJ1174599
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1855-9719
Practical School Experiments with the Centre of Mass of Bodies
Repnik, Robert; Ambrožic, Milan
Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, v8 n1 p97-116 2018
The concept of the centre of mass of a rigid body as a virtual point where the weight force acts is not easy to understand without a number of supporting school experiments. In school practice, however, experiments on this topic are often limited to a few of the simplest cases in which a simple flat body, such as a triangle or rectangle, is hung in two or mostly three directions to show where the corresponding plumb lines intersect. Typically, simple wooden bodies are used, on which the plumb lines are already drawn through the centre of mass. However, such experiments can be boring for students and are probably insufficient to illuminate all aspects of the topic. Furthermore, if the experiments are only demonstrated by the teacher rather than being performed in groups, the opportunity to train students' skills and develop nature-science competences is missed. We therefore prepared and performed a series of group experiments in logical sequence for students of the 8th and 9th grades of primary school, so that their full active participation was invoked. The experience with such an experiment setup with very simple equipment, together with the open discussion of results, increased pupil motivation for physics and perhaps also improved understanding of some physics problems regarding the centre of mass, even for younger students.
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education. University of Ljubljana Kardeljeva plošcad 16. Slovenia. Tel: +386-1-5892-344; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Slovenia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A