Design and make a marble-run

You will need:

Lean your board against a book or two, like a ramp.
Hold a marble at the top of the tray and let it roll down to the bottom.

Change the angle of your tray until the marble rolls down, without stopping, as slowly as possible.

Itís fun watching the marble run down the board, but itís all over too quickly. Itís possible to change the surface of the tray so that your marble takes ages to get from top to bottom.

One group of children made changes to a large tea-tray (you probably have one like it at home) so that a marble took almost 30 seconds to go from the top to the bottom.
How did they do it?
Go to the next page to find out.

The children cut and folded long pieces of card and sellotaped them to the tray to guide the marble in a zig-zag manner.
From overhead, their tray looked something like this.
The arrows show the direction in which the marble travelled

Of course, one end of the tray had to be higher than the other in order for gravity to pull the marble.
If there wasnít enough of a slope, the marble would stop. But the children didnít want to have too much of a slope either so that the marble would move as slowly as possible.

Could you design and make a marble-run like this?

1. Explore the materials.
Discuss these questions with your partner(s).

2. Plan your work.
Draw a picture here to show what the tray/board will look like (from above) when itís finished.

You will have a lot of cutting, sticking and testing to do. Plan the work on the next page.

3. Make it. Put your plans into action!
Even after youíve attached the card to the tray, it may take a while to get the angle of the slope perfect.
Remember, you want the marble to take as long as possible to complete the course. 4. Evaluate the work
Is every member of your group happy with the work?
If not, why not?!

Did you use any materials that werenít on the list on page 1?
List them here and explain why and how you used them.

Were you happy with the materials you used?

Would you use different materials if you were going to do this again?

Did you work well as a team?

What part of the work did you enjoy most and why?

To think aboutÖ