The Marble Tree

Eli Whitney Museum

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Thumbnail of The Marble Tree project

For Families

Marbles have amused and educated children’s hands for thousands of years. These spheres of stone, clay and glass invite play and experiment. Leonardo, Galileo, Newton and Ada Augusta Ada, Countess of Lovelace, used marbles to explain how the world works.

A classic Marble Down (or Marble Tree) is a perfect way to learn the physics of a rolling object and the effects of gravity and inertia. Couple that with the ability to plan three dimensionally and test things for accuracy, and you have an exceptionally enjoyable experiment.

The Marble Tree project illustrates motion by building a spiral track for a marble to follow.

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