Magnetic Marble Run

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Learners explore magnetism and motion as they build a simple marble run. Learners test different arrangements of plastic and cardboard tubes, bottles, and cups on a magnetic board. Learners use their marble tracks to investigate gravity, friction, motion, and momentum. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Exhibit, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • 1 magnetic chalk board or white board, refrigerator or file cabinet
  • magnets, many small ceramic ones
  • PVC pipe, cardboard tube, or plastic tubing
  • plastic bottles, cups, or jars
  • marbles
  • tacks
  • masking tape
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • nail
  • small saw or shears


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
  • Mathematics
    • Geometry
      • Plane Geometry
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Acceleration
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Oakland Discovery Centers


  • All rights reserved, Oakland Discovery Centers, 2012