engineering activity

Engineering Fun: Slow—or speed up—your roll

ExperimentScience Museum of Minnesota / Twin Cities Public TelevisionMar 20, 2020

Every young person is a potential engineer!

Ask, imagine, plan, create, test, improve . . . then try again! It’s about being curious,
creative and wanting to play!

WATCH THIS GREAT VIDEO: ENGINEERING IN ACTION

At the Twin Cities Public Television studios, as a part of Hands-on-Science, Science Museum instructors presented a great exploration of the engineering design process through fun, hands-on activities with the young studio audience. Now you’re ready to practice being an engineer at home!


Can you build a track to roll a round object down?

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Let’s Make It!

For This Project You’ll Need:

  • Something flexible. Examples: junkmail, newspapers, magazines, cardboard

  • Something to stick things together. Examples: tape, string, paperclips, rubber bands, etc

  • A way to keep track of time. Examples: a timer, a clock, a stopwatch, your brain, etc

  • Something round. Examples: a marble, a ball, a jelly bean, rolled up paper, playdough

USE THESE MATERIALS TO BUILD A TRACK FOR YOUR ROUND OBJECT. EVERY TRACK WILL BE DIFFERENT—ENGINEER YOURS THE WAY YOU WANT IT!


Let’s Talk About It!

What went well? What were your challenges?

  • How often did your round object make it to the bottom without stopping?

  • How often did your round object fall off of the track?

  • How did you get your track to stay together?

  • How long did it take your object to get to the bottom of the track?


Let’s Figure It Out!

Can you improve or change your track?

  • Can you make your round object stop less?

  • Can you change your track, so your round object gets to the bottom faster?

  • Can you change your track, so your round items gets to the bottom slower?

  • Can you add more turns in your track?

  • Can you make your track go uphill and still keep your round object going?

  • What other items can roll down your track?

  • What other types of tracks can you make?


How Did Your Engineering Experience Go?

No matter how your engineering experience turned out, we hope you and your family had fun doing them!
We want to see your creations and hear your feedback. Share your results on social media using #ShareYourDiscovery and let us know how things went!