Last week the school-aged children were very interested and engaged in creating “tracks” with the plastic marble run pieces, a problem arose as they discovered that many of the pieces did not match or were broken. This inspired the idea to present loose parts for the creation of their own tracks. Cardboard tubes and planks, blocks, tape and some marbles were left out as a provocation. A sign was placed among the items: "Can you make a marble run?"
The children quickly got to work and added more materials; paper, aluminum foil tubes, wooden curves. They leaned pieces against the cupboards, and placed their track over the carpet, around the table, and under chairs until it consumed half the room!
The children tested several theories through this process. They experimented with speed, balance, height, travelling through spaces (like tunnels), distance, weight and texture. One experiment included making the track "round", where curved blocks stacked together made the balls roll upside down - testing gravity!
“I'm grabbing the bigger blocks to make it more stable and so it won't move.” – E
“We need to add pieces to the side so the ball doesn’t break the track down!” -L
While observing the children we were able to see a lot of teamwork and problem solving, and determination. They worked so hard to find new ideas to keep the track together and to make it more challenging. Take a look at the final product!!
Carissa Sanderson, Bobbi Abraham RECE