No scale is needed to determine the weight of a sample in grams. A metric unit for measuring the mass of objects, grams are often used in science experiments. When you do not have a scale, you can make a balance scale from a ruler and use coins from your pocket to find the weight. This handy project makes science experiments at home simpler without having to spend money on an expensive scientific scale or balance beam.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 12-inch flat wooden ruler
- 2 pieces of cardboard, 3 inches square
- U.S. coins and dollars (pennies, dimes, nickels, quarters, paper bills)
- Item for measuring
Place the pencil under the 6-inch mark on the ruler with the pencil perpendicular to the ruler.
Tape each of the two squares of cardboard to the ends of the ruler so the ruler maintains its balance on the pencil without tipping one direction or the other.
Place the item you want to weigh on one of the two pieces of cardboard, causing the ruler to tip to that side.
Stack coins on the other cardboard until the ruler returns to balance.
Add the weights of the coins placed on the balance to find the weight in grams of the item. Use 2.5 grams for each penny, 2.2 grams per dime, 5.0 grams per nickel and 5.7 grams per quarter. Estimate 1 gram for a paper dollar bill.
Tips and warnings
- Only use this measuring method for legitimate purposes.
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