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Marvellous marbles

The mission: roll a marble from the top of the box to the bottom in the slowest time possible.

This week we were working as engineers looking at ways to slow things down. Traffic engineers use all kinds of ways of slowing down traffic. They have designed methods to encourage drivers to slow down and not drive too fast by setting up speed bumps and chicanes. Some measures make drivers slow down because they change the a the road looks- like planting trees along the sides of the road, or making the road narrower. We took all of this into consideration when building our marble runs.

Firstly like all good engineers we designed a plan before getting started. We looked at the materials we had to work with and organised how we would place them on the box to design the slowest run possible.


We drew our plans using all of the materials and placing them on the box to measure for size before sticking them down.


Next when were were happy that we had used all the materials correctly we stuck them down using double sided tape and blue tack.


Then we tested our first run. we wrote down the time it took to get the marble from the top to the bottom. This was the fun part but we noted that sometimes the marble got stuck so we had to move the track to ensure it flowed freely.

We then all came together and spoke about our designs and the time it took from the marble to run from the top to the bottom. When we heard the times we all set back to work again moving the materials to see if we could make our run slower before we retried the run.


We tried the run another two times and wrote down our times. It was a lot of fun testing the marble, but it was very hard to slow it down the second time.



We really loved this experiment and it was so much fun testing other peoples marble runs and seeing what people design using the same materials.


The winning design with the slowest time. Well done 🙂