Marble Challenge

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In this physics activity (page 6 of the PDF), learners will try to keep a marble in a bottomless cup without touching the marble inside. Observing the relationship between the cup and marble, they will explore the concept of cetripetal force. Although this activity was created as a pre-visit for a workshop about the physics of roller coasters, it also makes an excellent stand alone activity.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • Paper cup
  • Small marble
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Desktop
  • Goggles


  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Newton's Laws
      • Rotation Motion
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

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


Source Collection

  • Student Workshops


  • All rights reserved, COSI Columbus, 2009