How would you design and build a structure that can transfer a small ball between two points bridging a 6-foot gap?
There are challenges to this task: you can use less but not more of the suggested materials; the ball cannot be thrown; and once the ball is in motion, the set-up and the ball cannot be touched.
(A "Try This at Home" engineering challenge using string paper clips, move small balls from Explora's newsletter, Explorations, Spring 2009)
To create the top's disk, make a small hole in the center of a disk. You can then push a pencil or another spindle-like object partway through this hole for a snug fit. If the hole is too big, wrap rubber bands around the spindle or reinforce it with tape so the disk stays on the spindle. Now take it for a spin!
A "Try This at Home" build-your-own-spinning-tops project from Explora's newsletter, Explorations, Spring 2010