Watch Out for Spinning Tops and Catapults!

Student Experiments Show how Energy Works

by Alexander Sinn

A group of middle schoolers formed a circle on the lab floor, while others leapt onto desks to avoid the trajectory of Beyblades -- spinning tops activated by a pull cord -- as students competed for whose would spin the longest. Some blades collided with table legs and skidded to a halt; others found their way safely beneath desks where they spun for several minutes. In Curt Gerber's science classroom, students are learning the principles of energy transfer by building projects and conducting experiments...