Slow Magnet Marble Race 

Categories: On-Site, Outreach

Grades 3 – 6: Participants are guided to use 21st century skills including creativity, communication, teamwork and problem solving to win a race the slowest way possible.


Participants are divided into teams of 3 or 4.  Teams are challenged to create a track for a magnetic marble to travel from top to bottom of an inclined surface with the goal of reaching the bottom as slowly as possible.  Each team is given an identical set of materials and tools to construct their pathway.  Participants are encouraged to discuss the structure and properties of the materials, plan their material use and to test each new addition to their track.


  • This program is available to visitors in grades 2 – 6.
  • This program is available by appointment only.
  • Min 15, Max 32 students (depending on venue, maximum may be flexible).


Participants are encouraged to consider the problem in small sections to work towards solving the overall challenge.  (NGSS ETS1.B) Participants compare designs and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to arrive at the best solution. (NGSS ETS1.C) In the program, students are encouraged to try and test their ideas.  Participants are able to work within the material and time constraints to achieve successful results.

Engaging in the practices of engineering helps students understand the work of engineers.  [This] can pique students’ curiosity  . . . motivate their continued study; . . . and help them recognize that the work of scientists and engineers is a creative endeavor—one that has deeply affected the world they live in.
National Research Council. (2012). A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas. The National Academies Press.


In this program, the facilitator guides the students to conduct the activity for themselves without assistance from the chaperones.

Field Trip at SEE


  • One hour program with SEE instructor followed by half an hour of explore time in the SEE Science Center.
  • Groups with more than 32 students may want to consider combining their visit with a second program. Call us to discuss options.
Outreach Program
  • SEE instructor comes to your location for a one hour program. Materials will be provided for each student to use during the program.
  • Additional charge of $0.55 per mile roundtrip.
  • Limited to a 30 mile radius of the SEE Science Center.