Kids Voice III: 4th Grade Marble Experiment

In 4th grade we did an amazing science friction and energy experiment! If you want to know how to do this yourself and have a ton of fun learning, read on in this blog.


The above picture shows the materials you need: 1 wrapping paper tube, 6 dominoes, 2 marbles and a meter stick. What happens in this experiment is we stack three dominoes on a surface. We balance the tube on the dominoes then we roll down the marble and when the marble stops we measure how far it went in centimeters. Did you know that 100 cm = 1 meter?

Some questions we asked ourselves are:

  • Question 1: Would the marble go farther on a rug or a smooth surface? Our hypothesis was that the marble would go farther on a smooth surface because the carpet creates more friction. Click here to see what happens on the rug and here to see what happens on a smooth surface.
  • Question 2: If a marble collides into another marble, would it go farther or shorter than it went in Question 1? Our hypothesis was the marble would go a farther distance because when they collide it will give the second marble a boost of energy. Click here to find out what happens!
  • Question 3: If we used 6 dominoes instead of 3, would the marble go father? Our hypothesis was yes, it would go further. The more dominoes the bigger the slope. The bigger the slope the more force on the marble. Therefore, the marble would go farther. Click here to see the results!


After we did our experiment we used our mad math skills to create graphs of our data. They are posted in the 4th grade hallway for all to see. You can see one of our graphs in the picture above that graphs question 3. 19 students recorded the data from their two trials on the above line plot. The blue shows the collision, the red is without the collision.

As you can see, our hypothesis was incorrect – the marble goes a shorter distance (about half) with the collision. We learned that the instead of giving the marble a boost they share energy which is why it went shorter than without the collision. This was the most interesting part of our experiment. We found that interesting because we thought the opposite. This experiment was fun because we learned new things about friction and energy while having a great time!

3 thoughts on “Kids Voice III: 4th Grade Marble Experiment

  1. Hey fourth graders, it sounds like you had a great day of science friction (I love that term) and energy. Thanks for sharing you hypotheses and mad math skills with me. Keep up the good work. Mrs. Therriault from Massachusetts

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am a middle school teacher in NJ. This sounds like such a great opportunity to not only learn about friction but to get to play with marbles in school!! I want to know why the collision made it go a shorter distance… I heard in your video that the marbles share the energy but wouldn’t that mean they should go the same distance? Thanks for any help you can give me (Im just a math teacher)

    Liked by 1 person

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