Exploring Physical Science and Engineering Through Balls and Ramps

Kindergarten and First Grade Students have been exploring with Marble Ramps for a few weeks. This was an opportunity for them to work collaboratively, listen and share ideas, practice taking turns, come up with and enact a shared (group) plan, test out their plan and make adjustments.

Students have been practicing using science vocabulary words: force, stable, unstable, push, and speed. One of the engineering challenges as to see how balls of different materials move. For example, does the ping pong ball go faster or slower than plastic ball? We used glass marbles, Styrofoam balls of different sizes, rubber balls, tennis balls and ping pong balls. Students came up with the ideas of using chairs and buckets to explore angles. Some of the students challenged themselves to have a ball go down a ramp and hit a target or end up in a bucket. Students were very engaged in and excited about their discoveries and didn’t want to leave science class.

This is a totally student-driven idea. The students asked for an opportunity to build their own ramps. We didn’t have enough plastic tubes for everyone, so I gathered materials from the storage closet for students to be able to explore their passions and interests.


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