Educational Innovations

Mega Tippe-Top

Here is the mega tippe-top compared to typical tippe-tops on the market and a US quarter dollar:

Limited quantities available from the Spinning Top and Yo-Yo Museum of Burlington, Wisconsin 

Educational Innovations has reasonably priced wood tippe-tops in their shop: 
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Tippe-Tops 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Tippe-Tops 

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Mega Tippe-Top: spinning things often have surprising physics. This giant version of the famous flip-over top must be launched with a string pull to give it enough rotational energy to make the flip. It is also placed on a concave mirror to keep it from wandering too far. Friction with the mirror provides a torque that acts on the existing angular momentum of the top to flip it over. 

Magic Sun Stone

Get a magic sun stone (rough gem quality iolite) here: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Iolite Sample 

Affordable polarization filters and other polarization physics available here: 
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Polarizing Film Kit 

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

The kit also includes a birefringent crystal, colorful optically active mica sheets, and a polarimetry demo that reveals when structures are under stress. A great value for so much physics fun! 

Magic Sun Stone: gem quality iolite shows very strong pleochroism- its color depends on the polarization of light as it is transmitted through the crystal. The color of this rough iolite gemstone changes dramatically from clear to opaque purple as the orientation of a linear polarizing filter is rotated through 90 degrees. Also known as a "Viking sky compass" since it can detect the polarization of sunlight in the sky and thereby locate the sun for navigation even on cloudy days or when the sun is below the horizon- useful for this time of year far north.