What would I do on this homeschool journey without mama blogs, Pinterest, and my tribe of co-op families at The Nest Children’s School? Who knows what a different experience it would be if I didn’t have those elements of collaboration for ideas and support! Today Pinterest helped me out via a mama blog, so I thought I’d do you a solid too and add some insight to a fun STEM activity we did that you might be interested in trying too! This marble run hit so many checks we just had to give it a try – Using our DUPLOs that don’t get much love (but aren’t completely ready for donation to our favorite preschool), CHECK! Anything LEGO, CHECK! Repurposing an item that was on it’s way out as we say good bye to summer, CHECK! Engineering and building, CHECK! Fun, double CHECK!
- Old Pool Noodles
- LEGO Duplo, classic blocks, or the building materials of your choice
- Space to build
Prepare the old pool noodles by cutting standard length noodles into thirds then halving those pieces. Pull out the building materials (in our case Duplos) of your choice and make space for the creation. Talk about the concept a bit, for us this included what it’s like to build with “regular” marble tracks, roller coasters, flat surfaces and inclines, motors and momentum, and balance… to name a few! Building was guided by my son with very little direction from me – in face most of the direction came from him. Together we measured the idea space between the blocks to secure a noodle, trial-and-errored turns and slopes, and did a few re-builds.
In the end we spent a lot of time on an outcome that looks simple but satisfied our goals of getting a marble to complete the run and land in the container.
The original post that inspired us showed collaboration between siblings, rebuilds, and even a really cool double track! The direction our project went was to embellish the creation and image we were building a city where workers delivered marbles to the run by vehicles and this in turned created an important power source for the rest of the city… pretty fun! This was our first attempt and I’m not surprised we used two out of the many noodles provided – I have feeling this is one we will revisit many times and I’m looking forward to seeing the variations.