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Fast and Easy Science Fair Projects: An Uphill Battle

Updated on December 30, 2019
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Paper towel tubes (2)StringAdhesive tapeMarblesBooks (5 or 6)Modeling clay
Paper towel tubes (2)
Paper towel tubes (2)
Adhesive tape
Adhesive tape
Books (5 or 6)
Books (5 or 6)
Modeling clay
Modeling clay

Kinetic energy and the transfer of energy

Purpose: Demonstrate that energy can be transferred from object to object, and defy gravity.

Overview: An energy force can travel like a wave, which means that it can be passed from one object to another. The force of the energy transferred can be even stronger than the force of gravity, so that the energy can be made to travel uphill, where it is possible for it to do more work.

Hypothesis: Hypothesize that energy does pass through objects and this force can e transferred with enough strength to travel uphill.

You need:

  • 2 paper towel tubes
  • string
  • adhesive tape
  • marbles
  • 5 or 6 books
  • modeling clay

Procedure: By using adhesive tape at the sides, position a piece of string over the opening of one end of an empty paper towel tube. Fill the tube with marbles. Lay a thick book (such as a dictionary or encyclopedia volume) down. Till the open end of the paper towel tube filled with marbles from rolling out. Placing modeling clay on top of the book will hold the paper towel tube in place.

Stack four or more books face down on the table. Using modeling clay, tilt the other empty paper towel tube up onto the books, making a ramp. The bottom ends of both paper towel rolls must face each other.

Roll a large marble (or two smaller ones together) down the steep paper towel tube. This rolling force is called kinetic energy of the work being done. When the marble comes out of the bottom of the roll, it will hit the first marble in the next tube filled with marbles. The energy will pass from the rolling marble to the first marble, and then up through all the marbles. All of the marbles in the filled tubes are touching each other, and while these marbles do not move, the energy passes through them. When that energy gets to the last marble at the top, the force will move the marble. Can you see it move?

Now, repeat the experiment, this time changing the slope (the angle) of the empty striking the tube. Remove two of the books to lower the slope of the tube. Keep everything else Constant. The only Variable is the change in the slope of the strikig tube. Roll the large striking marble down the tube again. Is the waker force of the striking marble still able to move the marble at the end of the filled tube?

Results and Conclusion: Write down the results of your experiment. Come to a conclusion as to whther or not your hypothesis was correct.

Something more: Can yo make the force so strong that it will knock the marble off the end? You can increase the force by making a larger striking marble (increases mass and momentum), and you can make steeper for the striking marble. If you can get the last marble to roll out of the tube, how far can you get it to travel?


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