Introduction Kindergarten Physical Science Ramps

-Next Generation Science Standard* K-PS2-1,2

This project covers one of the Next Generation Physical Science Standards*.  It is called Kindergarten Physical Science Ramps because it uses large and small ramps to study force.  First, we made a marble roller coaster to study a large ramp, then we made a small ramp by making a pinball machine in a box.


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You can find the full lesson plan, worksheets, and assessment for this lesson at our Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

Materials List for Kindergarten Physical Science Ramps

For the large ramp:
-paper towel and toilet paper rolls or a pool noodle
duct tape
For the pinball machine:
styrofoam ball
washable paint
craft stick
-shoe box
glue gun
Ramps, Gravity, and Force lesson

Step 1: Download the Kindergarten Physical Science Ramps, Gravity, and Force lesson and complete the worksheets (with the full lesson you will also receive an assessment you can complete at the end of the lesson)

Here is a sample worksheet page from the lesson:

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Step 2: Collect materials for the large ramp and use duct tape to hold all the materials together in the shape of a ramp

We started out by making a marble ramp.  For this, we used a pool noodle because it has a hole in the center.  We collected a bunch of other “recycled” trash, such as yogurt containers and paper towels rolls to make a ramp similar to a roller coaster.



Step 3: Test the ramp by rolling a marble down it, change the angles and speed of the marble and observe your results

We were trying to see what would happen to the marble if we changed the angle of our ramp.

Step 4: Collect the materials for the pinball machine, begin by painting the shoe box (our pictures show us painting later on, but it would have been better if we painted everything first)

After making our roller coaster ramp, we wanted to make a smaller ramp and also study force.  We decided to make a homemade pinball machine.  We made this out of a cardboard box as you can see in the pictures below.

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We were going to put some obstacles in like these cups, but Jack had so much fun with the “machine” without them that we never got around to it.


Step 5: Make the pinball launcher by gluing a styrofoam ball on the end of a craft stick using a glue gun make a slice in the bottom left of your box to insert your launcher

We did however, have to figure out how to add force to the marble to get it up to the top of the box.  We tried making our own homemade “flipper.”  It did not work out very well, so we had to do some re-engineering.

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We decided to skip the “flippers” and just use a homemade ball launcher out of a
and a craft stick to give the marble enough force to move up the ramp.


Then we painted our machine with washable paint.

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Using just the craft stick alone was not giving us enough area to push the ball so we hot glued on this styrofoam ball and that worked beautifully!  We reinforced it with cardboard strips the marble could travel past.

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Here is Jack with his friend playing with the pinball machine we made.

Step 6: Complete the assessment from the Kindergarten Physical Science Ramps, Gravity, and Force lesson

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Step 7 (optional): Visit an arcade or pinball museum to play some real pinball!

Finally, we are lucky enough to have an actual pinball museum near where we live.  We went and visited the Silverball Museum, which is in Asbury Park, NJ.  We had a great time testing out all of the different models of pinball machines!













NGSS Lead States. 2013. Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

*”Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.”