Middle School, 5th-8th
Related classroom topics
Civil Engineering, Force, Structure
Divide students into groups of s3-5. Each group will need:
- 1 marble
- 3 straws
- 30 feet of string or thread
- Large rubber band
- 2 paper clips
- Square of cardboard
- Piece of cloth
1. Instruct the students to build something that will move a marble across the room with the following rules:
- The object cannot touch the ground;
- The object cannot be moved across the room by a person (no throwing);
- Only use the materials given.
2. Use the first 7 minutes to lay out the task and plan strategies.
3. The next 12 minutes to construct and test the marble movers
4. 7 minutes for teams to talk about strategies and problems.
Make it more difficult by extending the amount of supplies and the space the marble must be moved—have extra supplies ready for this.
Related discussion topics
Engineering design, Teamwork
Prepare a list of ideas of how to get the marble across the room, so that you can guide students that are stuck.