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Balancing Broomsticks


Balance six ‘broomsticks’ on top of the seventh. How many different ways can you do it?

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Using the top and bottom of the red disks, as well as the length of the black shaft offers many different straight edges which can be used to balance all the broomsticks.

This must be impossible


There are three straight edges on the broom sticks. Pay attention to those. Especially the bottom end. They are not straight, they're rounded.


What straight edges?


The top of the red end. The bottom of the red end. The shaft of the stick itself. Those 3 places are straight and can be used to balance the broom sticks in over 20 different ways.


I just don't get it (Final solution)


Try using the red underside of 3 broomsticks to place them on the pole. You will need to hold them in place. Next, place the remaining 3 broomsticks (Stick down, same as the first 3) on top of the first, over lapping 2 of them. Once all 6 broomsticks are in place slowly and carefully take any hands you've been using to steady them in place away. Can you find any other ways of balancing all 6 broomsticks?

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Look Closer

Welcome to Look Closer, Techniquest's brand new digital tool. We're trialling Look Closer as a way of offering you a closer look at the science demonstrated by many of our exhibits. You'll find visitor sheets, videos, articles on contemporary science as well as fun trails to navigate your way around the exhibition space.

Speak to our Science Communicators to find out more.