Materials List: Does Contact Area Matter?

  • spring scales, preferably having a 500 g capacity and 5-10 g accuracy, one per team of 2 to 4 students; Ohaus makes one that works well for this exercise; it is available from suppliers such as Ward for about $6
  • ceramic coffee mugs, one per team of 2-4 students (ask students to bring these from home or purchase them from thrift stores)
  • scissors (one per team)
  • tape (masking or wide transparent), one roll per team or one roll shared between two teams
  • string, about 30 cm per team
  • cardboard or poster board, enough for about 1 square foot per group
  • Styrofoamâ„¢ picnic plates, about four per group, and/or stiff glossy paper, laminated paper or overhead transparency plastic; enough for 1-2 square feet per group
  • rulers, one per group