The Marble machine is the main attraction of the Engineering station. The Marble Machine is a creative ball-run contraption made from familiar materials. It is designed to send a rolling marble through tubes and funnels, across tracks and bumpers, and into a catch at the end.

Thinking is made visible through the construction and adjustments made by students. Through their circuits, the students show us creative ways to express understanding.

During this process they make some of the habits of mind visible, including: stretching  and exploring, observing, envisioning, engaging and persisting, as well as developing craft.

The station is designed to favor the critical components of creativity: flexibility, decision making, collaboration, motivation, and communication.

A few minutes of reflection at the end of every class helps the students to recognize what they’ve learned:

How many times did you made mistakes?  That’s good! Have they helped you move forward in what you wanted to do?

Have you worked well as a team? Do you think that you would’ve done better on your own?

Is there anything that particularly surprised you?

In the next class, what would you like to construct?