In today’s STEM play of the Day from the Ripken Playbook, you will simulate the function of a gyroscope by navigating a marble through a three-dimensional maze of your creation.
What is a Gyroscope?
A gyroscope measures the angle a plane exists on the x, y, and z axes, meaning it can identify the exact location of an object in three dimensions. Where are gyroscopes used in real life? Well, airplane pilots use them to determine where their airplane is relative to the earth’s surface. They are also found on in smart phones, especially in video game software, to know the direction of the screen.
- Paper plate
- Tape or glue
- Items to create the barriers – paper, pipe cleaners, clay, blocks, straws, etc.
- Marble or other small, round item that rolls
Make Your Maze
- On your paper plate, draw a maze with a path wide enough for your marble to roll through. Be sure to indicate the start and finish positions.
- Now create the maze barriers by gluing or taping your additional items (straws, pipe cleaners, beads, clay, etc.) over your drawn lines to make your maze walls three-dimensional.
- Once your glue has dried, place your marble at the start of your maze and rotate your maze to move the marble through to the finish.
Use scissors to cut holes along the path of your maze for an additional challenge in maneuvering your marble from start to finish! If the marble falls through a hole, return to start and try again!
- Were you able to roll your marble to the finish?
- Was your maze too hard? Too easy?
- How would you improve your maze?
For more from the Ripken Playbook, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.