For this week’s engineering design challenge, we’ll construct a zip line that will drop a marble onto a target. In this exploration, students will learn about forces and motion while they explore the engineering design process.
This challenge is deceptively easy. In general, students will go straight to building the zip line without brainstorming because the concept sounds so easy. What they generally don’t realize is the no matter what creative solution they decide on, they need to find a way to release the marble onto a target. In addition to that, students need to find a way for the cup to slide down the zip line slow enough that is can accurately release the marble at the right time.
As a result, this is a great challenge for reinforcing the importance of following the engineering design process.
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Lane specializes in STEM education, curriculum design and professional development and makes teachers’ lives easier through innovative, standards-based STEM lessons.