Hooke’s Law — It’s No Stretch!

Many balances familiar to students, such as bathroom or grocery store scales are examples of spring balances. Hooke’s Law defines the relationship between the force applied to a spring or other elastic material to the distance it stretches or compresses. In this module, students will set up and conduct experiments to test the validity of the relationship.

Example weights made from washers, with each washer's mass written on it in marker, showing the variation that can be expected for a given size of washer

Weights and Weighing

The need to weigh or add weight to something is a frequent feature in science activities. Fortunately, not only are there many different options – and what’s “best” varies by activity – but plenty of them are inexpensive or free! Here we discuss what we’ve found to be the most useful and kid-friendly choices.