STEAM THEME: Engineering, Math (estimating, height/width), Science (gravity concepts)
Yes, I know it’s not STEAM Thursday yet. Yes, I know that it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted. But this Thursday I’ll have a very special post, and I wanted to go ahead and get something – anything – out here b/c I know ya’ll are just dying for some new ideas, right? 🙂
Well, so back when the consignment sale was going on, I picked up a marble run set. Totally on a whim – because it was only $10. And I have never been so happy about a consignment sale find ever. (And I get pretty excited about my consignment sale finds, ya’ll… I mean, seriously, seriously jumping up and down excited. My friend Kim can tell you just how consignment sale happy I am.) But, I digressed. If you don’t have a marble run set, here’s a fabulous one to start with from Amazon (aff link, thanks!)Marble Run 37-Piece Set This is a small portion of the set that I got… from looking online, I think I ended up getting a combination of this 37 piece set and two of the 80 piece sets. (Big score, ya’ll. Big score!)
We have had SO MUCH FUN making a wide variety of marble runs. There are so many ideas that I can’t remember all of what we’ve done to share with you, but I love setting up engineering challenges for Becca. Here’s a few of the conversation/activity starters we have done:
1. How wide can we make it where it all ends up in one finale?
2. How tall can we make one? (She loves to stand on our hearth to reach the top.)
3. Can we build a square tube?
4. Can we build a triangle tube?
5. Can we set up two runs and see which is the fastest? (Tip: For our run races, I write a number in Sharpee on each marble so we can track which ones are the winners. She gets three marbles and I get three marbles. She gets to design her track, and I design mine. I try to keep mine about the same height as hers, but obviously use different pieces, then have her guess which one will win. She always guesses that hers will win. And sometimes she’s right!)
6. Which pieces of the track does the marble roll fastest/slowest down?
7. Estimate how many clear holders we need to fill the spaces between the track pieces? (Fyi: Becca won’t estimate. She was wrong once. So don’t force this subject, but for your kiddos who enjoy estimating, this is a fabulously fun and easy way to estimate with small numbers.)