Marble Raceway: Investigating The Effect of Size on Speed

By Laura Hospitál on Jul 01, 2016

This science project was done by Janie and Morgan, who are students at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI).  They designed the following experiment to test their hypothesis. They really enjoyed putting together the marble maze first before completing the experiment. 

Hypothesis: 

The large marble will roll fastest down the marble maze.

Materials

  • Number of glass marbles: three (small, medium, and large)
  • Marble track
  • Timer (iPad can be used a a timer)

Procedure

  1. Get the materials and set them up:
    1. marble track
    2. timer (iPad can be used a timer)
    3. number of glass marbles: three (small, medium and large)
  1. One at a time, roll the marbles down the track.
    1. While it is rolling, time the amount of time it takes to get to the end of the track, and then record the time.
  1. This procedure will be repeated 4 times for each of the marbles, therefore there will be a total of 12 trials.
  2. After all the data has been collected, the time(s) will be averaged from each of the trials for each of the three marble sizes. This data will be analyzed in a bar graph.

Data

  • Average time - smaller marble
  • Average time - larger marble

Conclusion

Our hypothesis was incorrect. the small marble was the fastest.

NGSS Standards:

Plan and conduct an investigation individually and collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence, and in the design: decide on types, how much, and accuracy of data needed to produce reliable measurements and consider limitations on the precision of the data (e.g. number of trials, cost, risk, time), and refine the design accordingly. (HS-ESS2-5)

 

Marble collage

 

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