Day 172: Marble Ramps

Thursday, 12 May 2016


It’s conservation of energy time! And I’m so happy with the way this demo went to hook the kids:

  1. If we set up a race between these four large marbles, which one would win? (take bets, then release the marbles) Kids usually get this one right.
  2. Which marble is moving fastest at the bottom of the ramp? (take bets, release the marbles, then argue over how to tell) Kids rarely get this one right. Let’s try explaining what’s up. Hey kids, remember projectile motion? I have an easy way to compare marble speeds as they come off this ramp — watch where they land! (it was helpful here to have a slow motion video)

I did something quite similar last summer during summer school.

2 thoughts on “Day 172: Marble Ramps

  1. Hello,
    This is a great idea! How did you build these ramps?

    • Outstanding question! It was purchased from one of the scientific supply houses but unfortunately, I don’t know which. I’ll continue looking and post an update here if I find it. The apparatus is made of black powder coated steel, has four ramps and I’d estimate it to be about 60cm long.

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