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Simply STEM (January)

Welcome to this month’s Simply STEM activity! Today, we are creating a maze! In this activity, we will learn about how to create a maze out of straws to be able to get a marble to the other side of a paper plate.

Name: Paper Plate Maze
Time: 10 minutes

Description: This activity is designed to get your students to think like an engineer! The goal is to be able to create a maze that the marble will be able to fit into and roll through successfully. Your students will have to consider many factors when designing their maze. How long is the paper plate? How wide is the marble? How long do the straws have to be in order for the marble to go through? Depending on the age group of your students, you can design the maze as simple or as complicated as you want!

Materials List:

  • Paper plate
  • Bendable straws
  • A marble
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Ruler (optional)

Step 1: To connect your straws together, pinch the end of one straw and push that end into the opening of another straw. You can extend the bendable parts of the straw where you want to make the structure longer.

Step 2: Use your ruler or eyeball how you want the straws to fit on the plate to create the lines of the maze. Cut the straws into different lengths and position them to create different lanes on your plate. Don’t be afraid to have sharp twists and turns in your maze!

Step 3: Once you are happy with your design, tape the straws to your plate. Make sure that the straws are taped securely so that your marble will be able to roll through the plate smoothly.

Step 4: Position your marble at the top of the plate and tilt your paper plate in different angles to move your marble through the maze! Does it roll smoothly? Does your marble fit in the lanes? Are you able to get the marble to the other side of the plate?

Final Product:

Thank you for checking out this month’s Simply STEM activity! We hope you have fun recreating this activity with your programs. See you next month for another activity!

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