Marble Drop Game

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Build your own version of a favorite carnival game, in which a marble races down a maze consisting of rows of nails. Use this activity to demonstrate the effects of gravity and Newton's Laws of Motion. Learners also observe the rules of probability. Note: this activity requires the use woodworking tools, which are not included in the cost of materials. [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:
$10 - $20 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Game, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • 1 large piece of wood
  • 1 small piece of wood
  • 2 long pieces of wood
  • 1 box of nails
  • 1 roll of wire or rubber bands
  • screws
  • paint
  • marbles
  • hammer
  • drill
  • saw (jigsaw)
  • pliers
  • screwdriver
  • pencil
  • ruler
  • wood glue
  • sandpaper
  • T-square (optional)


  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Probability
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Newton's Laws
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Games
  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Fresno Community Science Workshop


  • All rights reserved, Fresno Community Science Workshop, 2013

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