Amazing Science Experiments
Balancing a Potato

In these amazing science experiments you will learn how to balance a potato, fork and a pencil on a table so that only the tip of the pencil is touching the edge of the table. Think its impossible? Not if you follow the directions and do some experiment on your own. Plus these seemingly gravity defying experiments are fun to do.

Balancing act with potato and fork, Photo by Myrna Martin
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Materials

  • Wooden pencil with a sharp point
  • Small potato
  • Table fork
  • Table

Directions

  1. Sharpen your wooden pencil so it has a sharp point.
  2. Lay several thicknesses of newspaper on top of a table or some other flat surface. Press the sharp point of the pencil slowly into the potato.
  3. When the pencil reaches the other side pick up the potato and pencil off the table. 
  4. Carefully continue to push the pencil through the potato. Stop when the pencil is approximately sticking out of the potato on the other side about1.5 inches.
  5. Look at the picture on this page. See how the fork is pressed into the potato at an angle. Try to push your fork into the potato at approximately the same angle.
  6. Place the pencil tip on the edge of the table so that it balances.
  7. If they do not balance try changing the angle of the fork. You might also try moving the pencil.
  8. There is only one balance point so you may have to do some experimenting to get your potato, pencil and fork to balance.

Try these amazing science experiments.

Choose a larger or smaller potato than you used for the previous experiment. Make a prediction how you will have to change the angle of the fork to make them balance. Try these gravity experiments and see if your prediction was correct. Try the same experiment with a ball of clay or a small apple. Make predictions about how you will need to make changes so these items will balance. Try these experiments and afterward check to see if your predictions were correct.

Science behind the experiment

In these amazing science experiments you were finding the balance point of the three objects. The balance point was at the edge of the table where the pencil point rested. The potato and fork were on one side of the balance point and the fork is on the other side.

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Amazing Science Experiments Try these amazing science experiments where you learn to balance a potato, fork and pencil on the edge of a table!

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