Newton's Cradle

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Build your own version of the classic physics toy using simple materials. This project demonstrates the principle of conservation of momentum and pays homage to Isaac Newton, who made many breakthroughs in understanding force, energy, and momentum. Learners also observe the rules of probability. Note: this activity requires the use of super glue. [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 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • 10 binder clips
  • 5 marble, 1" diameter works well
  • 4 large craft sticks or paint paddles
  • 2 wood blocks, 1x2x3.5"
  • 1 baseboard, 2x4
  • kite string
  • super glue


  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Potential and Kinetic Energy
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Acceleration
      • Newton's Laws
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Wave 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


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop


  • All rights reserved, Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop, 2011

Related Video