Balance Beam Activity

The Concept:

Use basic equation principles with the virtual Balance to find the weights of various figures. You are presented with a number of shapes and one of their weights is known. Your goal is to find the weights of the other objects by finding the relationships between the objects of various weights. This is achieved with a simulation of a balance beam to tell you how the weights relate.

Instructions:

Put shapes on both sides of the Balance and observe which side is heavier. When you are confident in your knowledge of the weight of the shapes, write the values into the appropriate fields. When you have all the weights filled in, ask the computer to check your answer.

Controls:
• Check: Click the "Check" button to see if you guessed the weights right.
• When running an "incremental" puzzle, if the answer is right, you are advanced to the next level.
• Answer: See the answer. Displays the weights in the fields next to the shapes.
• Clear: Takes all the shapes off the balance.
• New: Generate a new problem.
The Purpose:

• Placing virtual shapes on a virtual balance beam is presented here to allow students to learn basic equation-solving skills without the bounds presented by a physical balance beam.
• The students are able to solve balance beam puzzles with random weight on every try. The weights vary between selected puzzle modes.
• Gives 3 puzzle modes to test your skills on.
The Simulation:

Run the Balance in 4 different modes:

2 Shapes

Standard, Weights vary randomly between 1 and 6
Complex, Weights vary randomly between 2 and 10

3 Shapes
Standard, Weights vary randomly between 1 and 6
Complex, Weights vary randomly between 2 and 10

4 Shapes
Standard, Weights vary randomly between 1 and 6
Medium,  Weights vary randomly between 1 and 10
Complex, Weights vary randomly between 2 and 10

Standard, Weights vary randomly between 1 and 6
Medium,  Weights vary randomly between 1 and 10
Complex, Weights vary randomly between 2 and 10

Problems?

If you are having trouble loading the Applet, a possible solution is to update your Java Runtime Environment.

If you are having problems using the applet, please notify Pavel Safronov.