This marble drop experiment is a great way to explore how height and mass affect force. What size marble with make the deepest hole? Which height will make the deepest hole?
Marble Drop Experiment
This is an easy experiment for your child to design. Talk to her about what happens when you drop a marble. It hits the ground with a certain force. Ask her to predict what will happen if we vary the size of the marble or drop the marble from different heights. When will the force be greater? Allow her to choose the heights and marble sizes for the experiment.
Materials You’ll Need:
- Plastic bowl or dish
- Marbles (of different sizes)
- Thick paper/card stock/index card/thin cardboard
Add some sand to the plastic dish.
Experiment 1 – Different Sizes/Weights
Drop different size marbles from the same height.
- Choose a height from which to drop the marbles. (for example 12 inches)
- Hold one marble over the sand and release it.
- Measure the depth of the hole made. Cut a thin strip of cardboard to use as a measuring tool. Place the strip into the hole and use a pencil to mark the depth.
- Repeat with different sized marbles.
Which marble made the deepest hole? The heaviest marble.
Experiment 2 – Different Heights
Drop the same marble from different heights.
- Choose different heights from which to drop the marble. (for example 6, 12, and 24 inches)
- Hold one marble over the sand and release it from the lowest height.
- Measure the depth of the hole made. Cut a thin strip of cardboard to use as a measuring tool. Place the paper strip into the hole and use a pencil to mark the depth.
- Repeat with the remaining heights.
Which marble made the deepest hole? The marble that was dropped from the greatest height.
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The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments: Awesome Things To Do With Your Parents, Babysitters and Other Adults from the Quirky Mommas behind the popular Kids Activities Blog has a similar activity to our marble drop experiment. Simulate what happens when a meteor hits the moon using flour and marbles or small toys. The sizes of the craters depends on the sizes of the marbles or toys and the drop height.
The book also suggests using different materials to make layers like sand, flour, and cocoa. How many layers will the dropped marble make it through?
This is just one of the super fun science ideas in the book. In The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments, kids are prompted with a scientific question and then follow detailed steps for exploring the answer and reaching an outcome. Throughout the book kids will learn critical thinking techniques, fun facts, problem solving skills and tips for doing the experiments more effectively. Learn more and get your copy of the book from Amazon here: The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments!
More Physics Experiments for Kids
- Things That Go Racing Experiment
- Build a Trap for Dinosaurs
- Build a Lemon Battery (sponsored)
- Also check out these 20 Preschool Physics Experiments and Activities
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