Challenger Learning Center experiment

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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Kristin Hibbard from the Challenger Learning Center visited the TV5 studio to perform an experiment involving friction.

Hibbard used paper towel tubes, a foam core, tape and a flat surface to build a roller coaster for a marble.

The angle of the coaster along with the angles will affect the speed and direction of the marble.

Materials Needed:
Cardboard or foam core / masking tape / paper towel tubes / marble

Building a marble run: Using the foam core as your base, design a roller coaster ride for your marble. Use the paper towel tubes in various cut lengths to have you marble travel down creatively from top to bottom. Once the deign in laid out on a flat surface, tape the tubes to the board to make it more permanent. Finally, move the board to a vertical position and release the marble into the tubes in series to watch the marble travel from top to bottom.

The angle of the tubes directly affects the speed of the traveling marble. The larger the angle the greater the speed. Yet friction is always present between the marble and the chosen ramp. Friction will reduce the speed depending on the type of material used. A very rough surface will significantly slow down a marble in the marble ride.

Challenger is holding various week-long STEM focused summer camps for kids in grades K-8. For more information, visit

Experiment credit: