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Spooling Around with Physics—Demonstration Kit

By: The Flinn Staff

Item #: AP6641 

Price: FREE

Temporarily out of stock; call for availability.

Spooling Around with Physics Demonstration Kit for physical science and physics investigates the unusual motion of a spool pulled by a string. 

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Product Details

Demonstrate the unusual motion of a spool pulled by a string. Will the spool roll toward the pull or away from the pull? Or perhaps it won’t roll at all. It all depends on the angle of the string. What about the spool’s diameter or weight—will they make a difference? Test these variables as you teach about torque and balanced forces that act on a pulled spool. A great activity to perform when discussing free-body diagrams. Includes detailed demonstration instructions. All materials are reusable.

Concepts: Torque, frictional force, free-body diagrams, discrepant events.
Time Required: 15 minutes


Materials Included in Kit: 
Machine screw hex nut, ⅜"-16
Spool, plastic, 1¾" x 2⅛" x 1.12"
Spool, plastic, 3½" x 3" x 1.12"
String, thin, ball of ⅙ lb, 331 m

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Asking questions and defining problems
Using mathematics and computational thinking
Constructing explanations and designing solutions

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS2.A: Forces and Motion
HS-PS2.A: Forces and Motion

Crosscutting Concepts

Systems and system models
Structure and function
Energy and matter

Performance Expectations

MS-PS1-4: Develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed.
MS-PS3-5: Construct, use, and present arguments to support the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.
MS-PS4-1: Use mathematical representations to describe a simple model for waves that includes how the amplitude of a wave is related to the energy in a wave.
MS-PS4-2: Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials.
HS-PS3-2: Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motion of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative position of particles (objects).