"Who creates the slowest marble run?" #74

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After weeks of being closed down, the makerspaces in Amsterdam are finally open again! In small groups, the children are welcomed at the Maakplaats 021 in Osdorp. What they have missed the most? “Working together with other children and the workshop coaches!”

Today, we are creating marble runs with use of simple materials. We are cutting, gluing, drilling and tearing apart materials such as cardboard cups, straws and toilet rolls. Next, we attach them with split pins to perforated hardboard, so the marbles can run from the top of the board downwards.

The children are working in teams of two, and are in competition to create the slowest marble run. Yasmine (10) and Fabian (9) are both in different teams, and very excited to be back in the Maakplaats. “It’s fun to be here, building stuff together,” says Fabian. “There’s a lot of room for experiments”, Yasmine adds.

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The creation of the slowest marble run is quite a challenge. “Working with the materials is easy, but it is hard to make it perfect,” Yasminetells. The limited time makes it an even bigger challenge. “You have to attach everything to the hardboard in a limited time. The marble can go down in a different way every time, so you have to adjust the design of the run until it works best,” according to Fabian.

While working on the marble run, they learn a lot of new skills. “I just learned to work with a new tool, the drill. I never used it before,” Yasmine explains. Fabian is surprised by all the methods you can use to build a marble run. “You can keep testing new methods, and keep improving it.” Yasmine agrees enthusiastically. “I would like to continue, make it even longer and add new elements. I can go on for hours!”

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