Friday 28 January 2011

Marvellous marble machine

A while back I was discussing a school challenge of making a marble run out of junk that would last for 20 seconds release to finish. One would think this would be an easy task, but really it isn't- honestly! So Mr Inventor set to work on a new design, which actually ended up lasting even longer than 20 secs!!
Any way the task is not simple and in this presentation certainly not suitable for preschoolers, however for older children it is certainly a great problem solving challenge. For younger ones, perhaps shorten the time, and use larger junk e.g. cardboard tubes stuck together and leant against blocks or a climbing frame, extend and adapt where needed.
Remember the important part is the children's own thinking it is so easy to step in and help but doing so prematurely is not productive, instead prompt and scaffold with questions or simple statements to encourage a line of thinking.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Do you want to know the secrets behind marble machines? It is because of their design, complexity, tracks, special parts and, last but not least, decoration! A marble machine wouldn't look nice without scenery!


    The secret behind marble machines

    First, a good marble machine must make loads of noise to attract folks. Second, it must have loops, spirals and loads of other things! Third, it must be self-sufficient, that is to say, have a motor so that it can run unattended! Fourth, it must be unique! Unique marble machines are nicer to see than the boring just-spiral-and-loop types! Fifth, it must have scenery! Good marble machines have themes. Check out more at !