Seventh grade students from Lynbrook South Middle School recently began creating their own marble mazes during their inventor’s workshop course. Facilitated by science teacher Stephanie Reel, the full-year elective course encourages collaboration, communication, creativity, innovation and problem solving through exciting hands-on projects.
For their most recent project, the students were challenged to use a cereal box to build a marble maze that met specific requirements. They had to create a maze that was contained inside a cereal box and one that had a moving part, activated by the marble’s movement. In addition, the maze had to allow the marble to move freely through the box with no outside assistance at least two consecutive times. The seventh graders started their project by doing research on mazes. They then worked either independently or with a partner, using different materials such as a hot glue gun, Elmer’s glue, scissors, string, a plastic spoon and a paper cup.
Just like real scientists, the students practiced trial and error as they built their mazes. Once completed, the seventh graders will test their creations with a marble. The winning maze will be the one that allows the marble to move the slowest. If a marble gets stuck in the maze, that student or group will be disqualified.
Since the inventor workshop course is held every other day for students, each project takes about a month to complete.
“They enjoy it because they get to be creative, think outside of the box, problem solve and they are practicing science concepts without even realizing that they are doing it,” said Mrs. Reel.