From Here to There

How would you design and build a structure that can transfer a small ball between two points bridging a 6-foot gap?

What you will need:

  • Small balls of various mass and size
    (marbles, Styrofoam balls, etc.)
  • 5 sheets of paper
  • 5 paper clips
  • 5 rubber bands
  • 10 feet of string or yarn
  • 20 inches of tape (masking or painter’s tape is best)
  • 2 pieces of furniture separated by a 6-foot distance
  • Scissors

Here’s what to do:

Well, it’s totally up to you. Here are the engineering challenges:

  1. you can use less but not more of the suggested materials
  2. the ball cannot be thrown
  3. once the ball is in motion, the set-up and the ball cannot be touched.

Take it further:

  • How many different structural set-ups can you think of?
  • How does your engineering strategy change if the two points are not level with each other?
  • How does the size or mass of the ball affect how the ball travels between the two points?
  • Can you increase the distance the ball travels using the limited materials?
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