Marble Rush® Raceway Set Gravity Challenge
Marble Rush® Golden Rules
Rule #1: GravityGravity pulls things down.
Rule #2: SlopeSlope affects speed.
Rule #3: RandomRandom is unpredictable.
Rule #4: ForceForce is a push or a pull.
Rule #5: FrictionFriction is everywhere.
Learn About Gravity
Real World Connection
Hands-On Challenge: Gravity!
- Marble Rush® Raceway Set
- 4 marbles
- Marking tape
- Something to write with (pencil, pen, crayon, marker)
Complete the construction set as illustrated, then place 4 marbles in the Starting Gate to begin.
Press the flag to start the marbles down the track. Note how they all roll down. Pay special attention to where they stop.
Press down on the Orange Launcher to shoot the marble up the track. Discuss possible reasons for why the marble can roll up the track when the force of gravity is pulling it down.
Thinking Critically: Gravity Games
Exploration 1: Gravity at New Heights
Explore how the effect of gravity on the marble can change depending on the height of the track. First, remove the Orange Curved Track and the Orange Launcher at the end of the original track design so the ball will just roll off the track onto the floor. Next, start 1 marble at the top and watch it go down. Now, when the marble goes through the track it should roll off the track and onto the floor. Place a piece of the marking tape on the floor to show where the marble stopped rolling. Repeat this test a total of 5 times and mark the results on the tape.
- Did all the marbles roll the exact same distance? Why do you think this is?
Now, make the tower taller or shorter to record 5 more runs and note the results to see how they compare to your first design.
- Which design resulted in marble to rolling farthest?
Exploration 2: Up is the New Down
Now that you’ve seen how gravity pulls the marbles down, explore how the marbles can go up the tracks (even if for just a moment) against the pull of gravity. Use different track pieces to design a track that allows the marbles to roll up the track easier than the original construction design.
- Did you ever see the marble going up the track in the original construction design? If so, which pieces did this happen with?
- Is there a way to get the marble to go higher than from where it started? Why or why not?