Invention project for Physics!

We were assigned the following in our physics class about a month ago:

Design and construct a device which will most accurately and precisely find the mass, in grams, of an object having a mass between 50 and 500 grams.

I finally got around to working on this on Friday. My first design used springs as the basis for measurement and pulleys to amplify the distance traveled by the object to be weighed in order to enhance precision. My first goal was to find some suitable springs. I had some that I’d bought a couple weeks earlier, but none of them were sensitive enough to move when 50g was hung from them. I found different springs at Ace Hardware that were sensitive enough on the low end, but had trouble on the higher end. I ended up using them anyway, though in my brief tests they stretched a bit too far and no longer functioned like new. But I think they would’ve still worked good enough to get a semi-accurate reading.

While the design may have been good in theory, the pulleys created too much friction and the scale was not accurate. I found that I could pull the weight bucket further down, and the friction caused the springs to be unable to pull the bucket back up to where it was. I ditched the idea and tried to move on.

My new idea is still secret (I have to win after all), but it involves this somehow:

And earlier today it spilled and got me all wet =(

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