Marble Run Challenge- Grade 2

A few days after I had my first graders come in a create a maze out of drinking straws. I thought, let me change this a bit for my second grade classes. I turned the challenge into a marble run–more of a “pin-ball themed” one– and a few different supplies. Very similar lesson, but a new twist!

Grade Level:  2nd grade

Essential Question:  How many different ways can I solve a problem?

Lesson Objective:  Students will use tools and materials in order to collaboratively design, build, and improve a marble run.  Students will work collaboratively to complete this task.

Class period:  45 minutes


  1. Introduction to lesson:  The students will be told about their makerspace challenge:

Your challenge:  You will work with a partner or small group to create a marble run.  This will be a great game to play on a rainy day, or during the next indoor recess.


Your materials: 

  • 1 cardboard box
  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Hot glue (teacher will help with this)



  1. Discuss your ideas with your group.
  2. Draw your ideas and make a plan. (use planning sheet)
  3. Label your drawing, list materials you will use
  4. Show plan to teacher for approval
  5. Create your marble run.
  6. Test your maze with a marble!
  7. Make changes, as needed.
  8. Share with the class.



  1. Make a plan. Students will use the attached “planning sheet” to plan their ideas with their group.  They will draw, write, and label their ideas.  They will also make a list of materials needed for their plan. They will use this plan as a prototype to help them get started.




  1. Explore/Make: Students will spend the majority of the lesson creating, testing, and modifying their straw marble mazes.


  1. Reflection: At the end of the lesson, students will refer to their plans from the beginning of the class. Students will reflect and share how their plan and thought process changed and evolved as they completed the maker challenge.


  1. Share: Students will share their straw maze creations with the class. They will test the maze out and show their classmates. They will share their new knowledge with the class.



  1. Extension: Students can use upcoming indoor recess lessons to make updates, changes, improvements to their mazes. They can also use this time to play with their mazes and swap mazes with others.




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