Ride on a Slide: Toys or Tubes Ride Slopes and Angles

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This activity is a hit for family events and all ages—some will finish in 45 minutes; others can go on for hours. Each group uses recycled cardboard to build a slide that meets certain height constraints. For extra challenge, build a slide that will send a toy car uphill for part of the ride. As learners create and demonstrate their slides, they learn about slope, speed, and the design process. A Building Achievement Award is available as a downloadable pdf. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Archive.org.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • cardboard box (at least 12” each side) or shoe or cereal boxes
  • paper tube or toy vehicle
  • watches or timers that show seconds
  • telephone books, blocks, or boxes to use for elevating parts of the slides
  • rulers, scissors


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
    • Technology
      • Transportation
      • Construction
  • Mathematics
    • Geometry
      • Plane Geometry
      • Solid Geometry
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
      • Size and Scale
      • Rate
      • Systems
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Model Building
  • Toys
  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see

Learning styles supported:

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


Components that are part of this resource:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Mixing in Math


  • , TERC, Inc., 2010

Funding Source:

  • NSF, ESI-0406675 and DRL-0713537