Thinking Fountain image (17k)Thinking Fountain text (10k)


Toying around with science:

Use tops to explore color, shapes and spinning.

You'll need-

  • pattern
  • posterboard
  • skewer stick
  • film canister lid
  • hammer
  • nail
  • scrap board
  • goggles
  • low melt glue gun or masking tape
Top diagram (24k)


cut pattern & posterboard (14k)
cut pattern & posterboard
decorate (14k)
pound nail through lid (14k)
pound nail through lid
put skewer through pattern and lid (14k)
put skewer through pattern and lid
tape or glue (14k)
tape or glue
spin (14k)

"We made our tops out of three different shapes" -Marcus

Triangle top (12k)Circle top (12k)Square top (12k)
click on a shape to watch it spin

The patterns below play tricks on your eyes when they spin.

Spiral pattern (55k) Benham's disk (55k) Color top (55k)

That makes me think . . . (11k)
How long can your top spin? Try spinning your top in a dark room using a strobe light. Why does the pattern seem to spin in the opposite direction as it slows down? Try to invent a launcher for your top.

Yellow dot (9k) Vollis makes things that whirl

Book cover (17k)

Yellow dot (9k) Art that goes round and round

Yellow dot (9k) The Wheeling and Whirling-Around Book

Gathered by topic
Mind maps (9k)
Connected together
A to Z button (9k)
Index of ideas

Science Learning Network / ©1996 Science Museum of Minnesota