A Marble Run: a race to zero

The dangers of the climate crisis are real, but we can all be part of the solution. The single most important thing we can do is to reduce our carbon footprint to net zero. 

Today’s activity is about things go down. In this case a marble – but hopefully it will also be your carbon footprint too!

For this activity you will need a cereal packet, some thin card – eg another food packet – a stapler, scissors and glue. To finish you will need a flat board such as a cork table mat or chopping board, and some tape. 

Cut the thin card (mine is a cake packet) into three strips that are a little longer than the width of the cereal packet and about 6cm wide. This you bend into box-shaped gutter. The side of my packet comes ready folded into this shape. 

Fold and staple the flaps at one end of the gutter. 

At the other cut a gap in the base of the gutter and then fold and staple the end flaps.  

Once all three gutters have been made, glue these to the side of the cereal packet. Angle the gutters so that they slope downhill with the gap/ hole at the lower end. 

It may help if you unstick the bottom of the cereal packet so that you can lay it flat.

Cut out triangles of plain paper to fill the gaps between the gutters. On these you draw some pictures or write a message – as I chose to do. Glue these onto the cereal packet.

To make the marble run stable,  we are going to fix it to a flat board – I used an old chopping board. If you haven’t already, unstick the bottom flaps of the cereal packet and spread them out. Place the cereal packet on the board and tape the flaps down. Now your marble run should be stable. If it still a bit wobbly put a packet of sugar or a tin of baked beans inside the cereal packet to weigh it down.

Have fun! 

Author: Judith Russenberger

Environmentalist and theologian, with husband and three grown up children plus one cat, living in London SW14. I enjoy running and drinking coffee - ideally with a friend or a book.

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