skip graphical navigation
PBS KidsZOOM Home Back to Activity
Science Rocks!



your results

Sent in by:
Daphne of Alameda, CA

Spin city! Experiment with different kinds of tops.

Materials Needed

  • cardboard
  • sharpened pencils
  • clay
  • string
  • pushpins
  • scissors



  1. Take a piece of cardboard and cut out different shapes. To make a circular shaped top,first find the exact center of a piece of cardboard. You could use a compass to do this. If you don't have a compass, you can tie a pencil to a piece of string. Then, you mark a spot on the cardboard and hold the string there under your finger.
  2. Then, holding the string tight and keeping it tight, draw a circle with the pencil. The spot you drew is the center of the circle.
  3. You can use a ruler to draw other shapes like square or triangles, or make any shape you want.
  4. Now, cut the disk out of cardboard.
  5. Then, you poke a hole in the center with a pushpin and put the pencil through.
  6. Put some clay around the pencil so that it will stay up.
  7. You can also decorate the top using colored markers, stickers, glitter, whatever you like.
  8. Spin the top on the tip of the pencil.
  9. Make some more tops using different shapes of cardboard. You could try a star or a rectangle. Test them out and then compare them to the circular top.

Now it's time to experiment. Think of a question that you want answered. Like, what happens if you use a really short pencil? What happens when you raise or lower where cardboard is on the pencil? Write down what you thought was going to happen-that's your prediction. Then test out your question and send your results to our special feedback area. Share your results with the world, right here at ZOOM! And, don't forget to send new experiments for others to try.

You can also send us your pictures or video of this ZOOMsci:
Box 350
Boston, MA 02134

Some of your Results

ZOOM wrote:
This is new!

ZOOM wrote:
We need your comments!

ZOOM wrote:
Send it to ZOOM!

not yet implemented