Measuring the Magnitude of Force


Today we are hanging some fruit from a chandelier and poking it with a straw–yes, we are measuring the magnitude of force!

Are you ready for a ridiculously fun experiment? You will need the following items: string, a chandelier or door knob, a bendy straw, tape, scissors, a grape, an apple, and a banana.

Here are the results of our experiment:

How to conduct the experiment:

Step 1: Make sure the fruit is completely dry before attempting to tape the string to the fruit. We used packing tape, but apparently flimsy scotch tape also works. I was shocked to see the banana didn’t fall and splat with weak scotch tape holding it up.

Step 2: Tie the other end of the string to the chandelier or door knob.

taped-grapeThis post contains affiliate links. I was compensated for my work in writing this post.

Step 3: Grab a bendy straw and push each piece of fruit. Notice that the grape does not bend the straw, but the apple and the banana require more force to move, so they bend the straw. The more mass an object has, the more force is required to move it.


The photo above is the moment I discovered the weak tape was holding the banana up. It was quite hilarious, since I was expecting a splat.


See how the grape requires almost no effort to move, since its mass is so small. On the other hand, the other two pieces of fruit require more force to accelerate. To accelerate something means to make it move forward or change its velocity. We accelerated the speed of the fruit in this experiment while determining the magnitude of force required to move each piece.


This fun experiment is from the book Christian Kids Explore Physics by Bright Ideas Press. Why not pick up your own copy today!

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4 Responses to “Measuring the Magnitude of Force”

  1. Mary says:

    This is SO cool. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Natasha says:

    I love your blog! You have amazing science ideas. I haven’t yet gotten into the rest of your blog but so far it is great. Thank you for sharing your ideas 🙂

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