Materials List: Visualize Multi-Step Equations:
Solving with Seesaws

(Note: The seesaw for this activity may be constructed entirely with parts from hardware stores, or a carpenter-machinist might be helpful in its construction. Or, any seesaw can be used for the activity, as long as the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT sensors can be attached to a moveable beam to demonstrate balance.)

The classroom seesaw set-up needs:

  • multiple objects of the same weight and size, to use as weights (such as bulk packages of water bottles or sandwich bags filled with sand) (Note: Water bottles of 11 fluid ounces [325 ml] were used successfully with the set-up described in this activity, and as much as 24 bottles were used on each side without functionality problems. However, heavier objects may work.)
  • several plastic bags or containers for the objects

Note that single licenses and site licenses are available; site licenses may make sense for schools with high use.