Bobsleds use the low-friction surface of ice to coast downhill at ridiculous speeds. You start at the top of a high hill (with loads of potential energy) then slide down a icy hill til you transform all that potential energy into kinetic energy.  It’s one of the most efficient ways of energy transformation on planet Earth. Ready to give it a try?

This is one of those quick-yet-highly-satisfying activities which utilizes ordinary materials and turns it into something highly unusual… for example, taking aluminum foil and marbles and making it into a racecar.

While you can make a tube out of gift wrap tubes, it’s much more fun to use clear plastic tubes (such as the ones that protect the long overhead fluorescent lights). Find the longest ones you can at your local hardware store. In a pinch, you can slit the gift wrap tubes in half lengthwise and tape either the lengths together for a longer run or side-by-side for multiple tracks for races. (Poke a skewer through the rolls horizontally to make a quick-release gate.)

Here’s what you need:

  • aluminum foil
  • marbles (at least four the same size)
  • long tube (gift wrapping tube or the clear protective tube that covers fluorescent lighting is great)
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16 Responses to “Bobsleds”

  1. It means to adjust and notice what’s going on and adjusting again.

  2. violet639 says:

    What does tweeking mean??

  3. violet639 says:

    Could u use an empty toilet paper tube as well?

  4. violet639 says:

    The Bobsled word does sound a little funny.

  5. Ragini Neerumalla says:

    can you use more than 3 or 4 marbles – ragini’s daughter

  6. Angelyn Tag says:

    is it okay to use 1 marble or is that missing the point

  7. Angelyn Tag says:

    This worked really well…… we tried some really cool designs! Thanks Aurora! -Maria, Angelyn’s daughter

  8. Sure – why not? Send me a picture so I can post it for everyone!

  9. Natalie Jones says:

    do you think we could use hot wheels tracks instead of the tube?

  10. Ahsan Nuri says:


  11. Ahsan Nuri says:

    can we use something else besides the tube?


  12. Lorelei Grecian says:

    It took a while to get the marbles in place……….. but………. it works GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  13. sevy keble says:

    These work with any number of marbles except 1 or 2. (obviously not more balls than 20!)
    sevy keble 🙂