Make your own ball run!

Why does an apple fall from a tree? Or a spin top spin? Or a ball roll or bounce? Explore motion with a ball run you can make at home!

To get things to move, we need to apply a force, and pushing and pulling are two examples of forces! Gather up some of your favourite toys at home. To get them to move, do you need to push them? Pull them? Spin them? Squash them? Bounce them? Roll them? Or even slide them?

A great way to explore motion is with a ball run. To make your own ball run at home, you’ll need:

  • Some sort of small ball, such as a marble
  • Some space on a wall
  • Some sticky tape (but be careful with your paint, builders or masking tape works best)
  • Any other objects you can find around your house that might help out. Get creative! Cardboard and toilet paper rolls are great, but you should have plenty of objects in your kitchen.

Gravity does all of the work for you with a ball run! When you place a ball on an inclined plane, or ramp, the ball will roll down the ramp due to gravity.

Our Scienceworks challenge to you

Can you design a ball run that causes your ball to roll really slowly? So slowly, that the ball rolls for 10 seconds before hitting the ground? Instead of rolling, what changes can you make to your ball run to get your ball to bounce? Or slide? Or spin? Can you make your ball go upwards?

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