Make a simple noodle marble run wall from pool noodles! Pool noodles are amazing and cheap materials for so many STEM projects. I keep a bunch on hand all year-long to keep my kid busy. I bet you didn’t know how useful a pool noodle could be for simple STEM activities.
Make A Marble Run For STEM
We have been on a roll lately with wall activities! We recently did a cardboard marble run and a super fun homemade water wall. I love finding creative and inexpensive ways to make fun activities that encourage playful learning for our Jr. Engineers!
A simple marble run with pool noodles can turn into a great STEM activity for kids. We had the opportunity to talk about gravity and slope. We talked about the different sizes of pool noodles and how many we had to use. We also used our engineering skills to problem solve what wasn’t working.
Of course, you can also add this pool noodle marble run to your summer camp activities too!
What Is STEM For Kids?
So you might ask, what does STEM actually stand for? STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. The most important thing you can take away from this, is that STEM is for everyone!
Yes, kids of all ages can work on STEM projects and enjoy STEM lessons. STEM activities are great for group work, too!
STEM is everywhere! Just look around. The simple fact that STEM surrounds us is why it’s so important for kids to be a part of, to use and to understand STEM.
From the buildings you see in town, the bridges that connect places, the computers we use, the software programs that go with them, and to the air we breathe, STEM is what makes it all possible.
Interested in STEM plus ART? Check out all our STEAM Activities!
Engineering is an important part of STEM. What is engineering in kindergarten and elementary? Well, it’s putting together simple structures and other items, and in the process, learning about the science behind them. Essentially, it’s a whole lot of doing!
Helpful STEM Resources To Get You Started
Here are a few resources that will help you introduce STEM more effectively to your kiddos or students and feel confident yourself when presenting materials. You’ll find helpful free printables throughout.
- Engineering Design Process Explained
- What Is An Engineer
- Engineering Words
- Questions for Reflection (get them talking about it!)
- BEST STEM Books for Kids
- 14 Engineering Books for Kids
- Jr. Engineer Challenge Calendar (Free)
- Must Have STEM Supplies List
How To Make A Marble Run Wall
- Painter’s tape
- Pool noodles
- Knife and scissors
STEP 1. To get started on your DIY marble run, an adult should safely cut up chunks of the pool noodle. I used a serrated knife to cut the pool noodle into different lengths.
STEP 2. Next slice the pool noodle pieces down the middle creating halves. You will also need a roll of painter’s tape and of course some marbles!
STEP 3. My best tip for creating the pool noodle marble run is to actually put the tape on the noodle pieces before you place them against the wall.
Make sure your tape piece covers the underside of the pool noodle right to the edges. This made it so much easier for us to accurately stick them to the wall.
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STEP 4. Once you have attached your pieces to the wall, grab some marbles and test it out!
The best part of our DIY marble run was testing it, of course! We didn’t get it quite right the first time, but that was the neat part. It provided a good opportunity to develop those problem-solving skills. Work out which pool noodle pieces needed to be moved more to the left or right, or up and down.
Pool Noodle Ramps For Younger Kids
For the younger pool noodle STEM fan, you can set up an easier version which is a simple ramp idea!
Instead of making smaller pieces out of the one long noodle, simply slice the middle down the middle for one ramp. Prop up one end on a chair or table and let the kiddos send marbles down it! A basket at the bottom might also be helpful!
More Fun Engineering Projects
When you finish with your marble run wall, why not explore more engineering with one of these ideas below. You can find all our engineering activities for kids here!
Build a DIY solar oven.
Construct a water wall for outdoor STEM.
Make this erupting bottle rocket.
Make a sundial to tell the time by.
Make a homemade magnifying glass.
Build a compass and work out which way is true north.
Construct a working Archimedes screw simple machine.
Make a paper helicopter and explore motion in action.
Get started with STEM and engineering projects today with this fantastic resource that includes all the information you need to complete more than 50 activities that encourage STEM skills!