Illuminations: Pan Balance—Shapes

Play this great interactive that inspires algebraic thinking even in young students. Experiment with balancing weights by moving different shapes of unknown weights to the balance pans to achieve equilibrium. There are six pre-set sets of weights of the four shapes presented that can be manipulated on the pans or removed from them if you need to figure out a different arrangement of shapes. Reset the balance, reset the table showing the shapes you’ve used, and guess the weights of each shape. Related resources on the Illuminations site offer lesson plans that use this interactive for instruction.

courtesy of Knovation