What I made
1635
days ago

‘Most ingenious’ marble run science project winner!

Space themed marble run science project winner (with rocket launch and flying comet effects)

Mission: Construct a marble run with your child and use it as an opportunity to teach them about science and technology.

Real mission: Construct a marble run with (or without) your child. Beat the other kids. Beat the other kids’ parents. Beat everyone.

Only kidding… (not really).

This year we went for a space themed marble run science project – with ‘flying comet’ and ‘rocket launch’ effects (watch the video above with the sound on)! While our marble run didn’t win the prize for the ‘longest timed run’, it did win a special certificate for being the most ingenious. Mostly down to the fact that once the marble reached the bottom it was taken back to the top by a cool counter-balanced ‘rocket launch’ lift!

How to make your own marble run science project winner

The instructions below are intended as a guide and inspiration – they don’t cover every step of the build, this one is a little too complex for that! Anyway, I hope you still find them helpful.

Illustrated instructions for making your own space themed marble run science project

Download instructions›

Includes:
1) Collectable instructions – includes additional photographs
485 downloads so far, thanks everyone!

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If you need ideas for another classic school science project, the ‘rubber band car’, check out my souped-up rocket car in Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for making cool stuff (my new book).

Rubber band rocket car

It comes with extra wide wheels, a release switch (no more false starts) and detachable bodywork!

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25 thoughts on “‘Most ingenious’ marble run science project winner!

  1. Wow! I really liked this experiment…good job to you and Dylan :) I really want to try it out myself too, and when I downloaded the instructions files one of them wasn’t working and the one that worked showed the same picture as on your site, and I’m still kind of confused about the rocket launcher. Could you maybe explain and give more pictures? Thanks so much :)

    • Hi Florence, You are right, these aren’t the most thorough of instructions – it I get a chance I’ll try and add more over the coming weeks. Thanks for the comment. Scott

  2. Dude this page is awesome! I absolutely love it! I’m trying to get kids to activate their imagination at the afterschool program I work at and this is just inspiring! thanks =)

  3. wow wow wow!! this is so cool!! i can’t wait to make one – for my grandson (*me) to play with!! He (*i) will love it!!!

    Thank you so much for being so helpful!

  4. Wow, just got here via the Craftzine blog who linked to your dart targets and couldn’t resist looking at the things you’ve done “to beat other dads”. The marble run is fantastic and the tower is inspiring – we’ll be trying it this lunchtime – if the children don’t eat the building materials – No we won’t, we’ve only got wiggly spaghetti so I don’t think it’ll work, damn.

  5. Wow, just got here via the Craftzine blog who linked to your dart targets and couldn’t resist looking at the things you’ve done “to beat other dads”. The marble run is fantastic and the tower is inspiring – we’ll be trying it this lunchtime – if the children don’t eat the building materials – No we won’t, we’ve only got wiggly spaghetti so I don’t think it’ll work, damn.

  6. I suddenly realize we are being vastly overcharged at our preschool, as we have none of this. I would be crap at it regardless, but I would feel like a better parent if I’d chosen a school where it was at least an option.

    Well done–I damn near cried twice, I liked it so well.

    • Thanks for the comment Deborah. Yes, we were lucky with the boys’ school – it was small, and they had very engaged and attentive teachers. By the way, the science projects weren’t always this tricky – the year before we built a spaghetti and marshmallow tower, that was a bit easier but just as fun:)

  7. I suddenly realize we are being vastly overcharged at our preschool, as we have none of this. I would be crap at it regardless, but I would feel like a better parent if I’d chosen a school where it was at least an option.

    Well done–I damn near cried twice, I liked it so well.

    • Thanks for the comment Deborah. Yes, we were lucky with the boys’ school – it was small, and they had very engaged and attentive teachers. By the way, the science projects weren’t always this tricky – the year before we built a spaghetti and marshmallow tower, that was a bit easier but just as fun:)

  8. Do you always win, does anyone else stand a chance?!! I like the spagetti tower also – can you eat it afterwards? I remember the tales of the Bubble machine from Colin – have you made one of these for your sons?

    • Hi Kathy, No we didn’t even win this year – but Dylan did get a certificate for the ‘most ingenious’ marble run! Yes, I’ve got an old photo of a ‘Bubble machine’ at my office, I was thinking of scanning it, and posting it for old times sake! Nice to hear from you, I’ll drop you a mail:) Scott

  9. Do you always win, does anyone else stand a chance?!! I like the spagetti tower also – can you eat it afterwards? I remember the tales of the Bubble machine from Colin – have you made one of these for your sons?

    • Hi Kathy, No we didn’t even win this year – but Dylan did get a certificate for the ‘most ingenious’ marble run! Yes, I’ve got an old photo of a ‘Bubble machine’ at my office, I was thinking of scanning it, and posting it for old times sake! Nice to hear from you, I’ll drop you a mail:) Scott

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