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Science Rocks!

Marble Maze


your results

Sent in by:
Josh of Cincinnati, OH

It's aMAZE-ing how slow you can go!

Materials Needed

  • foam core board or a large piece of cardboard
  • a chair
  • cardboard tubes
  • poster putty
  • string
  • yarn
  • fabric
  • sandpaper
  • bubble wrap (with little bubbles)
  • construction paper
  • masking tape
  • marbles
  • rubber ball
  • ball of clay
  • stopwatch
  • ruler marked with inches



  1. Try to make a maze for a marble to go down s-l-o-w-l-y.
  2. Have a friend make a maze too so you can compare your designs and results. Make sure the mazes are the same size and have the same steepness. The ZOOMers made their mazes on foam core boards and made sure the bottoms of their mazes were exactly 8 inches from the chairs they were leaning against.
  3. Then race. Whoever's marble finishes LAST is the winner.
  4. On your mark, get set, slow down!

Which materials worked best to slow down your marble? Does the distance the marble travels affect how long it takes to finish the maze? What changes to your designs did you make to slow your marble down? Are there places in your maze where it travels especially fast or slow? Why do you think that is? How do you think gravity or friction is affecting the speed of your marble? What other materials can you think of that will slow your marble even more? Do you think some types of balls will roll faster through your maze than others? Choose one thing-that's the variable-and make a prediction. Then test it out and send your results to ZOOM.

Some of your Results

Dhruv, age 10 of Charlotte, NC wrote:
When I timed each ball I didn't get the same time

Will, age 6 of Columbia, MO wrote:
We built a marble maze out of paper towel tubes and some of my baby sister's toys. And duct tape. A lot of duct tape which my dad says you can never have enough of. We put it all on a big white poster board, and it works great!! The marbles go very, VERY fast. It is part of our Rube Goldberg invention.

Tina, age 11 of Window Rock, AZ wrote:
At first it went down fast, then I made the platform, the one I made, flat. I only tilted enough so that the marble went slow but able to move. It went really slow, it went on for 2 minutes!

Paige and Izzy, age 14 of Washington, D.C. wrote:
We used tubes and cut them in half then we put corn syrup in the tubes and it went really slow. it took almost eight minutes!

Angelina, age 9 of Sandown, NH wrote:
when I tried marble maze it was awsome! I'm totally into science.

Paul wrote:
My average time was 41 seconds. Also, later I added on two paper towel tubes, and it increased the time by about 5-7 seconds.

Mikalya, age 5 of Twin Cities, MN wrote:
My mom and I tryed it 7 times and it went supper slow our last time.

Maya, age 11 of Waco, TX wrote:
I really haven't tried it yet but I'm going to do it to do it for a science fair project to represent motion

Leo, age 10 of League City, TX wrote:
we used a noodlefor the pool but the marble got stuck

Odalis, age 11 of Newark, NJ wrote:
it took 39 minutes to make it slow it was fun!!!

Brenda, age 12 of Compton, CA wrote:
it when really SLOW. it took 35 seconds toget from point A to B. IT WAS AWESOME!!!

Jen wrote:
It took 50 minutes. the size was5by2 ft. it had things to slow, reverse, and go back

Lauren, age 11 of Norwich wrote:
I cut 1 side of a box and cut strips then stuck them in a maze. it works

Jayden, age 8 of Markham, ON wrote:
I took some marbles and I took a peice of wood and I cut it like a thin book. I hammerd some nails all over the peice of wood leaving some space for the marbles to fall through. Four people can do this cool experiment; all four people drop their marble at the same time. The person whose marble gets to the bottom first wins the game.

Garrett, age 8 of Meridian, ID wrote:
It drops from one book and four boxes then it falls in a bowl of water.

Shae-Lyn, age 10 of Welland wrote:
The smaller ball made it through.

Christopher of Philadelphia, PA wrote:
The marble ended up going out the window then it went into a cup.

Katie, age 11 of Emerson, NE wrote:
It worked! I also tried another one and it kept falling off and I used different materials.

Ada, age 11 of Kansas City, KS wrote:
Mine took 4 minutes and three seconds. I put some nail mazes on mine, and a hole that takes it a long time.

Tyler, age 8 of New Philadelphia, OH wrote:
The marble just went through precisely 15 curves and spirals, and loops. It just looked extraordinary. It also went through tunnles to.

Bridgett, age 10 of Indianapolis, IN wrote:
First I buildet the maze, then I dropped the marble down the maze in it got stuck a few times, but when I lifted up the ramp is fell down easier, I timed it 6. 3 seconds. I thought this was in awsome science experiment!!

Allison, age 8 of Norton, MA wrote:
The marble took 9. 01 seconds. That's probally because it was a super long maze.

Daniel, age 9 of Monroe, LA wrote:
When I made my marble maze it had a reverse. It had bumpers and stoppers. Then it reversed and started all over.

Emily, age 14 of PA wrote:
I did the marble maze with my stepdad. Even though it took us a really long time we had to save up toilet paper rolls for months. But we finally tried it. We made the cardboard a little longer and we had the marble going in the maze for a solid 3minutes. It was awesome! I think you should try the marble maze again and try to break my new record! I know I will.

Amanda and Rachel of Findlay, OH wrote:
We tried doing the marble maze with old 3oz paper cups and toilet paper tubes mounted on a sheet of copy paper. It went really slow. It took 20 seconds to go down. We did not use anything to slow it down though.

Billy, age 15 of Malta, NY wrote:
It took the maze half an hour to end.

Joey, age 10 of NJ wrote:
My marble maze was made of paper towel rolls and clay with tissues stuck to it. It took 47 seconds for it to come down.

Bryce, age 6 of Brooklyn, NY wrote:
I used cd's, Paper towels, a marble, And a piece a of wood. The piece of wood slowed down the marble. I got it in 4minutes!!!

Stacey, age 12 of Tempe, AZ wrote:
It took me about 31 seconds. I used a lot of paper towle holders and bubble rap.

Jacob, age 9 of Portland, OR wrote:
I put pillows and it slowed down the marbles. Also, the marble had to go through DVD's. I put two light bulbs and they also slowed down the marble.

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