Recently we’ve been observing the children using the marble maze in a different way to challenge their mind. We noticed the children setting up the marble maze using 15 wooden pieces organized in a specific way on the maze. At one point, they began hypothesizing on how many wooden pieces would fall over when the next marble was aligned to go down the maze. The children were attempting to make all of the wooden pieces fall over, even though nothing was going as planned. One of the children told the classroom that, “you have to move them down because they are very strong and if the marble keeps going back and goes forward and keeps knocking the pieces over.”
He was recognizing that the wooden pieces need space between them to ensure that they will fall over. He understood that the sticks cannot be touching one another. Moreover, the children guessed that maybe using two marbles at the same time will help force the wooden pieces to fall over. This activity introduced scientific concepts of momentum, speed, velocity, and force in a natural and relatable way for their age group.