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Rock and Roll: Balancing River Rocks

Rock and Roll: Balancing River Rocks

Balancing rocks is a learned skill and a growing Earth art form. Students will first experience the skill of balancing by designing a simple balance using a rock as a fulcrum to balance two river rocks. They will create a unique, temporary balanced sculpture from two to five river rocks of various shapes and sizes. This activity combines the science of gravity with hand-eye coordination and basic engineering to make a piece of art held together by “gravity glue.” Older students may want to try to counterbalance the rocks, making arches and other structures that seem to defy gravity. Students will troubleshoot and practice trial and error to solve this engineering challenge.

Rock and Roll: Balancing River Rocks is part of the STEM2D Student Activity Series. The content and layout were both developed by the Smithsonian Science Education Center as part of Johnson & Johnson's WiSTEM2D initiative (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing, and Design), using a template provided by FHI 360 and JA Worldwide. This series includes a suite of interactive and fun, hands-on activities for girls (and boys), ages 5-18, globally.