Thank you to everyone who participated in our December Challenge! Our January Challenge is now available at

Congratulations to Devon for winning this challenge!

Build a marble run out of household objects!

For general information on the challenge format, click this link!

If you have any suggestions for future challenges, please let us know through the form below!


  1. Use household objects to construct a marble run. These include but are not limited to:
    1. Paper towel/toilet paper rolls
    2. PVC pipes
    3. Cardboard
    4. Pipe insulation
    5. Disposable plates and cups
    6. Magnets 
    7. Popsicle sticks
    8. Legos
    9. Disposable water bottles
  2. Your marble run can be for marbles, or any other ball you have. 
  3. Be creative! 
  4. You may work with family and friends!

If you aren’t sure where to start… 

Activity suggestions based on age: 


Try to make the longest or tallest marble run you can!


Make a marble run race track! You can create two start points that merge into one marble run and see which marble wins!


Make a marble run roller coaster! Try to get the marble to go around a loop (or more?)

Include 5 elements of a marble run (see the suggestions for parts of a marble run listed below)

Can you calculate the marble’s speed? 

Newton’s Laws of Motion:

  • Newton’s First Law of Motion: “A body at rest will remain at rest, and a body in motion will remain in motion unless it is acted upon by an external force.”
  • Newton’s Second Law of Motion: “The force acting on an object is equal to the mass of that object times its acceleration.”
  • Newton’s Third Law of Motion: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

Library Resources

We are super excited to be working with the Lincoln Library! They have curated 3 book and website lists for students of different ages to learn more about motion and energy! Visit the library website to access these resources!

Guiding Questions/Suggestions:

  1. Draw a sketch of what you would like to build
  2. Think about what material you’d like to use
  3. Consider how your parts will attach (use a board to attach them to, use magnets and move around on fridge, make a freestanding structure, attach to  a wall)
  4. How can you build upon your design?
  5. Brainstorm your idea with a friend! 
  6. What issues did you run into? Why? How can you modify it to make it bigger or more complex?

Reflection Questions:

  1. What issues did you run into?
  2. How did brainstorming your idea with a buddy help you overcome some of your challenges?
  3. What was your favorite part of the challenge?
  4. What challenges did you overcome? 
  5. What did you learn?
  6. What were your earlier versions/ how did your design evolve?
  7. How did you come up with the idea?

To submit:

  • Send a picture of your creation and answers to the optional questions if you filled them out to by January 1st your creations will be featured on the GearTicks website!
  • Feel free to include any planning you did as well as your favorite part of the challenge!
  • Your submissions can be a google document, PDF, image, or just an email
  • If you want to upload work on paper, try downloading a PDF scanner like genius scan and sending via email

If you have any questions feel free to email!

Suggestions for parts of a marble run

Funnel Vortex

More Ideas: