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Learning how to draw means learning to see. A good art lesson teaches us not only to create but to look at, think about and understand our world through art.

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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Create Marble Roller Coasters From Cardboard:

World’s Longest Water Slide

I am a proud contributor to School Arts Magazine

Student Art Gallery:
My students video taped their marble runs using the school iPads and shared them with me via Dropbox. Below is a video of their footage, which I strung together with my own video footage and sped up using iMovie. 

I created the video below to give students some hints, tips and techniques:

How can students work in cooperative teams to design a working model for the world’s longest water slide? How can students use the process of trial and error to modify and improve a design? 

This lesson can be used to meet the next generation science standards for middle school engineering and design:

Students will be able to work collaboratively and cooperatively in teams of three or four to design, test and modify a working model of their own ‘world’s longest water slide’. Students will test their water slides using a glass marble.


cardboard toilet paper and paper towel tubes, a small cardboard box for the ‘pool’, scrap cardboard from cereal boxes, masking tape, scissors, paper plates and low temperature hot glue guns. Gesso and paint are optional


1.   To create a curved pipe, cut slits half way through a cardboard tube and bend. Wrap and tape small pieces of cereal box cardboard over the holes.

2.   To create a funnel, cut a slit in a paper plate, form a cone shape and cut off the point of the cone.

3.   Flat pieces of tape work better than loops of tape, hot glue dries instantly so it is preferable to white glue and masking tape can be more easily painted over than clear tape.

4.   Test every section of the slide with a marble during the assembly process. If a marble files off, add on a cardboard wall. If a marble gets stuck change the angle of the ramp. If your design begins to sag glue in a cardboard brace to prop it up.

5.   Remember, the longer the marble is kept in motion before reaching the bottom, the more likely it is that customers will pay money to ride on your slide. Longer water slides are more popular and exciting than shorter ones.

Students will demonstrate their marble slides in front of the class. A yard stick will be used to measure the height of the slide and a video camera will be used to determine how long the ball is able to stay in motion. The taller the design and the longer the ball stays in motion the more successful the design is. Points will be deducted if the ball flies out of the slide or gets stuck in the tunnels. Teams whose marbles get stuck or fly off of the slide will have the option of modifying their work.

From: http://sarahgreenweeds.blogspot.com/?m=1


100% = 10 out of 10 marbles reach the box at the bottom without getting stuck or flying off
90% = 9 out of 10 marbles reach the box at the bottom, etc.
Your results must be recorded on video with no edits as proof! You must then turn your results into Mrs. Wintemberg's Drop Box and rename the file with your group's name, grade and class period. All marbles must be returned to the teacher after you are done video taping. Each missing marble will result in the loss of 10 points.

Let the games begin and may the odds be ever in your favor!

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