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Exploring Momentum and Angle with Marble track - George Washington High School Tinkering Labs Science 04.19

Sayuri FalconerComment
Crane Test-2.jpg

Today we have marble track that Gever made on the table saw, some ball bearings, and two provocations:

1. Can you get a marble to cross the gap between two tables? (no moving the tables allowed)

2. Can you build a marble track on the pegboard on the wall that takes 10 seconds for a ball bearing to complete?

Tools: Pliers Materials: track made by 2x3's cut in half, rebar tie wire (the green stuff), the leftover long triangles from making the track, miscellaneous wood pieces

Tools: Pliers

Materials: track made by 2x3's cut in half, rebar tie wire (the green stuff), the leftover long triangles from making the track, miscellaneous wood pieces

Getting familiarized with the materials, the GWHS kids waste no time figuring out a design. 

The first iterations used gravity and momentum alone to bridge the gap. Simple as they were, they were really fun to play with. 

Soon the bridges got longer and more complicated, spreading out the momentum over a greater distance and using more supports. 

Using sloped track pieces like the one at the beginning ^^ inspired the students to try to control the speed of the ball at the end of the run. 

Using sloped track pieces like the one at the beginning ^^ inspired the students to try to control the speed of the ball at the end of the run. 

How many different ways could we get this ball from point a to point b?

Soleil, Nicole's daughter, steered the pegboard track challenge with the students who had completed the first one. After tinkering with the wire for some time, they finally got it past 10 seconds! A paper cup was eventually added to the end to keep the ball from rolling all over the floor. 

Gever guided one team's approach to a marble jump. The first iteration would have the marble jump off, bounce on a stool, then continue to more track on the other side.

When that didn't work, a Tinkering Labs container was flipped upside down to add height and bounciness. Useful for more than just holding tins of wingnuts and tiny screws. Once the plastic box was added, it worked on the first try!

Once the plastic box was added, it worked on the first try! Everyone gathered as the team made tiny adjustments to have it go as smoothly as possible.

Here is the Flickr album for the day!

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