Marble Runs
For ages 2-10

How do people build roller coasters? How do they know when they build them that people won’t get stuck somewhere on the track? Physicists have to carefully design coasters to ensure that they are not only fun but safe as well. In this activity, we are going to make our own coasters and attach them to our walls much like the new Ball Run exhibit that opened last week. If you haven’t been to the Museum yet to check out this new exhibit that gives children the opportunity to learn about physics get your tickets today, click here!


  • Cardboard Tubes
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Marble
  • Other path items (options)



  1. Roller coasters come in all shapes and colors! Before you start construction, prepare your track by cutting and coloring your tubes. You can cut them in half, leave them whole, or try unique designs!
  2. Most roller coasters have an engine-powered chain that brings the coaster up to its highest point. Since we don’t have that, our coaster will just start at the top. Pick out a spot on the wall to start your coaster and tape a tube there.
  3. At this high point, your marble will have the most potential energy. This is energy stored in the marble that will turn into kinetic energy when the marble starts rolling.
  4. Coasters rely on gravity to bring them down from the top of the track to the bottom. Try piecing together tubes to create your own unique coaster design, keeping in mind that the marble always wants to go down.

More Fun:

This activity was brought to you by our Summer Online Programs. If you enjoyed this activity, check out our other online summer programs by clicking here!

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