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Over the Hill


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    The Exploratorium

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Over the Hill

In this physics activity, learners construct a small-scale version of a classic carnival game. A large marble is rolled along a track made from a commonly available and inexpensive metal shelf bracket. The track is gently bent so that there is a flat portion, then a small hill, and finally a steep uphill portion. The objective is to roll the ball so that it goes over the first hill, but does not come back over the hill -- the ball should remain in the dip between the two hills. The process involves nice illustrations of the interplay of kinetic energy, potential energy and friction.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Game

Language:
English

Materials List (per group of students)


Subjects


  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
      • Heat Transfer
      • Thermodynamics and Entropy
    • Energy
      • Potential and Kinetic Energy
      • Energy and Power
      • Work and Machines
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Rotation Motion
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories


  • Games
  • Toys

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

  • Rathjen, Don

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Exploratorium, ©2008

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