Ramps 2: Ramp Builder

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In this inquiry-based learning activity, learners design, build, and test their own ramps. They are introduced to a variety of materials and explore putting them together. They also create plans for ramps by evaluating a variety of materials provided to them. This is the second activity in a two-part series on ramp building (see related resources for "Ramps 1: Let It Roll!").

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 8

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • A variety of ramp building materials, such as: carpet samples, pink foam, foam wrap, wood, plywood, rubber treads, PVC-white, PVC-black, brick, masking tape, gutter
  • Objects to roll down the ramps, such as MatchBox cars
  • Colored stickers (or something similar) to mark distances (optional)
  • Tools to measure the distance, such as rulers or cubes (cm)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
    • Measurement
      • Rate
    • Reasoning and Proof
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Momentum and Velocity
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Toys
  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

Includes assesments for student learning:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, AAAS, 2011

Funding Source:

  • Verizon Foundation Thinkfinity Program