Seesaw Maths

by Gyrobot, published

Seesaw Maths by Gyrobot Nov 12, 2013

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28115Views 3802Downloads Found in Math


A hands on teaching aid which helps pupils understand addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
Does not give you the answer, but tells you if you are correct via a balanced seesaw.
Also helpful in science, understanding leverage, fulcrums, moments and gravity.
Fun and interactive.


Print without support and scale as large as you can.
I printed 20 red counters, you can print as many as you want, best to make the counters solid infill too so they have more of an effect on the beam.
Q. How many 7's in 28?
A. Put counters totalling 28 on one side (good for addition) and find out how many counters you need to put on the other side's 7 peg to make the seesaw balance.

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This looks great! I am a teacher of the visually impaired and our office now has a makerbot. I am constantly looking for things to use with my students who are blind and/or visually impaired. Do you know how long it takes to make?

Hi, I'm not sure on a Replicator, took me about 1.5 hours to print on an Orca 0.43. Does this need to be re-mixed with numbers in Braille?

Braille would be great, but the student could also count the knobs from the center. I could use it as is with my low vision students as they could get close and see the numbers or count the knobs as well.

First submission, first place! Well done.

This is a great manipulative! well done

It's not really a matter of original concept, but of design. Most of the math manipulatives in the challenge were not entirely original ideas, but they did create a working 3D design for them. It would be even more of a "challenge" to create a brand new math manipulative, which some however did do.

I see you made one, thanks for uploading.

How did you design and print this just an hour after the challenge was posted? Do you know about the challenges before they actually are posted?

Excellent -- this was on my list to design, and now I don't have to! :)

This is neat. But does the variable distance from the pivot point cause issues? That is, if I put 1 counter on one side very near the pivot point, and on the other arm put one on the outer end, doesn't the further away one generate more torque and thus pull their arm down? Won't that confuse kids? Or do I have the physics wrong?

Exactly, that's why the further away you place the counter the more it is worth in numerical terms.

So to explain further, if I was a school teacher teaching elementary maths I would ask a pupil a question -

How many 7's go into 28?

The pupil will then build up 28 on one side of the scales, eg 2 counters on 10 and one counter on 8 (good for learning addition). The second stage would be to get the pupil to add counters to the 7 on the opposite side until the seesaw balances. Obviously they would stop at 4 and that would be the answer.

Wow! Great to see this!

Bre, what can I say other than a simple thank you.