Directed Discovery: The Marble Run Project

It has been a lonnnggggg time coming but we have finally finished the marble run project. This all started back at the beginning of Term 3, when students were discussing how our toy marble run works.

What are marbles? What makes things fall? The interest grew! So one student started investigation and researching things such as gravity and different materials on safari. He decided to design his own marble run to help him learn more about how they work.

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Now that the design was finished and the excitement was growing, a few other students were eager to join the project. They started making the marble run through trail and error and quickly learnt that sometimes we fail more times than we succeed. Wrong materials, wrong slant, not strong enough, no support sides to keep the marble on, the list of failures grew very long! We watched a video of a Rube Goldberg Machine for inspiration and found out that failure isn’t a bad thing, it means that we are able to learn from it and make changes. The students spent weeks in Directed Discovery building, testing and then rebuilding. It took a lot of problem solving, more than the students had anticipated.


Finally, it was finished! It consisted of two starting points, three turns, a cup and about 15 reels of sticky tape. Now it was time to test it out! We predicted and hypothesised how many failures we might have before the marble lands in the cup. Check out the video below to see the results!

Directed Discovery: The Marble Run Project from Erin McNamara on Vimeo.

We would love to get some feedback from our families, friends, other teachers or anyone out there reading this!