• Young engineers showcase marble run designs

    June 01, 2018
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    Young engineers showcase marble run designs

    Primary school pupils from across Leicestershire and South Nottinghamshire demonstrated their engineering talents in the 3M Young Innovators Slo-Mo Marble Challenge.

    Young engineers showcase marble run designs

    Primary school pupils from across Leicestershire and South Nottinghamshire demonstrated their engineering talents in the 3M Young Innovators Slo-Mo Marble Challenge.

    Young engineers showcase marble run designs

    Primary school pupils from across Leicestershire and South Nottinghamshire demonstrated their engineering talents in the 3M Young Innovators Slo-Mo Marble Challenge.

    • Pyramid Marble Challenge entry

      A total of 47 teams from 20 schools presented their entries for the Slo-Mo Marble Challenge.

      The challenge – added to the annual contest for 2018, the UK’s official Year of Engineering – tasked Year 3 to 6 pupils with building a marble run that maximised the time taken for a glass marble to roll from top to bottom, using materials from a given list.

      The youngsters devised innovative ways to slow their marbles down using clever construction methods and their knowledge of gravity, energy, friction, gradient and material properties.

      For example, one used viscous washing up liquid to slow the marble’s descent, while another had the marble run over a jagged hacksaw blade. Other materials used to increase friction included bubble wrap and sandpaper.

      The entries were judged on not only the time taken for the marble to complete its run, but also criteria such as background research, design and material experimentation, and prototyping. Each team also had to give a presentation about its creation.

      The judges were Judith Payne, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) manager at the Leicestershire Education Business Company, and Aisling Bradley, a manufacturing technology group leader at 3M.

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    Aisling said: “We were really impressed with the teams’ creativity and the level of research they had each clearly put into understanding the forces at work. All the entries were fantastic and we had a really tough time picking a winner.”

    Judging is now complete for all six challenges within the competition, which 3M holds annually, in partnership with the Loughborough Echo, to foster technical and creative innovation among the next generation.

    The winners will be announced at a presentation ceremony in June.
     
    In each category, the winning team’s school will receive equipment worth £750, together with individual prizes for the students. 3M will also pay to enter all participants into the British Science Association’s CREST Award scheme, giving them a chance to gain a nationally recognised accreditation for their work towards the competition.


    Slo-Mo Marble Challenge video