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Candle Seesaw Science Project

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Have you ever heard of a candle seesaw?  This is an awesome candle science project that teaches about kinetic energy.  This is seriously so much fun and a great way to amaze kids in a really easy way!  (See more of my STEM projects)

Candle Seesaw Science STEM project

How to Make a Candle Seesaw

To make this fun candle science project you will need a long candle, a carving knife, a needle or long thin nail, matches, and two cups.

candle science project- seesaw

Start by carving down the candle end without the wick. You will need to carve until you find the wick.

Next, you need to find the center balance point of the candle. Hold it between two fingers and and find the point on the candle where it levels out. Mark it with your fingernail. Mine was not exactly even because it is a tapered candle. There is more weight on one end.

Light a match and use it to heat up your needle end. Press it through the candle leaving it sticking out on both sides.

Now you can balance the candle on the two cups.  The candle will fall to one side naturally.  Light the wick of the heavier end of the candle and let it burn until it begins to level out. Once it levels, you can light the other end.

candle science- candle seesaw

It may take a few seconds, and sometimes takes a tiny nudge to get going, but the candle will begin to seesaw back and forth. It will keep moving and dripping wax on each end as it goes. Make sure to put something under it to collect the wax! It makes a bit of a mess.

The Science Behind the Candle Seesaw

When one end of the candle drips, it makes that side lighter so it rises. The end that drops drips wax so it then becomes lighter making it rise back up. It really is about the weight of the different ends!  Then the kinetic energy keeps it going for a really long time!

See more Kinetic Energy Projects:

Shooting Star Spinner

Spool Racers: Homemade Wind-Up Toy


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