Among my favorite elements of the making community is the level to which ideas, observations, and best practices are openly shared. It's the same energetic exchange that happens among the Tinkering Studio team: we're constantly propelling each other into new and interesting directions. For example, while adapting our Marble Machines activity for younger learners, Deanna shared her observations of a child who "used the foot of the marble machine as a ramp for her marble. She repeatedly rolled the marble down the foot and watched as it rolled off the edge." Deanna even spun up a snazzy diagram:
Marble Machine Foot Ramp
Already in the process of making a set of new marble machine feet and intrigued by this new use, we tried routing a channel to make the feet into a more deliberate ramp. Whether or not the protoype (below) makes it to the floor, it's an example of how we move from an observation to an idea, and from that idea to a tangible (and testable!) reality.
This work was supported by a grant from Science Sandbox, an initiative of the Simons Foundation