Smartivity - Marble Slide
The kit comes with all the pieces needed to construct a marble-run-type game including punch-out wooden pieces, marbles, rubber bands, and a detailed instruction manual. Children begin by assembling the marble run from the provided pieces punched out of the four labeled, wooden sheets. While the pieces do separate easily from the frame, they should be removed with care to avoid breaking any of the weaker pieces. The instructions list the pieces needed for each step as well as the sheet number or bag that each piece comes from. Each step also contains a visual of how the pieces should be assembled and a written description of the step. After the track has been assembled, children can play a game similar to pool by rotating the ramps into the proper position and running the “cue” marble down the track. The goal is to orient the ramp such that the cue marble will strike the marbles of the player’s color and knock them into the pockets. The first player to knock all their marbles off the board is the winner.
Smartivity - Marble Slide promotes spatial reasoning and critical thinking skills both through the construction of the track and through playing the game. Players must be able to determine and visualize the trajectory of the cue marble based on the angle of the ramp to hit their marbles, and not their opponents, into the pockets. It may take players more than one attempt to correctly aim the cue marble, encouraging perseverance and iterative design. The kit also provides information about more scientific concepts such as gravity and how it applies to the track. Smartivity - Marble Slide is an excellent, interactive toy for all ages!
Apply Science, Engineering, Mathematics Knowledge
Moore, T.J., Glancy, A.W., Tank, K.M., Kersten, J.A., Smith, K.A., & Stohlmann, M.S. (2014). A framework for quality K-12 engineering education: Research and development. Journal of Precollege Engineering Education Research, 4(1), 1-13.
One reviewer said,
"Yes, this toy promotes engineering design thinking by having to come up with a route you want to build with the track provided. There is a lot of room for creativity (you can make different routes)."
A reviewer's recommendation
"This is a good game to understand gravity, banking, and direction of the marble. Children can design a new route and observe how fast the marble goes around curves, slopes, etc. Children can also have the freedom to add or take some pieces away to promote creative design."