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.
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.
In this program, the facilitator guides the students to conduct the activity for themselves without assistance from the chaperones.
This program can also be adapted for off-site locations, please call for pricing.
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.
- This program is available to visitors in grade three and up.
- There is a minimum of 15 students or a $135 charge.
- There is a maximum of 40 students per session.
- A single program is scheduled for 1.5 hours (approximately one hour in the program and a half hour to explore the center).
- Larger groups may want to consider a combo program.
- The program is $9 per student, with one adult free with every 3 students.
- This program is available by appointment only.