Maker Space Build-Along: Gravity-Powered Carousel

by  Playful Engineers

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Students build gravity powered carousels from ordinary materials. These machines transform motion from linear to rotational, and are fun to make and play with on their own, or as part of bigger chain reactions (see Jay's other workshops!) Friction, gravity, and mechanical advantage are discovered, explored, and discussed.

Program Rating

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About This Program


Multipoint: $200.00
Multipoint Premium: $150.00
View Only: 200.00
View Only Premium: $150.00
Point to Point: $200.00
Point to Point Premium: $150.00
By Request: $200.00
By Request Premium: $150.00



45-55 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Teacher(s)/Educator(s), Parent, Adult Learners, Homeschool/Family , Learning PodPublic Library: Library Patrons, Library Staff

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

STEM, Professional Development, Sciences, Problem Solving, Gifted & Talented

Program Delivery Mode

Google Hang Out

videos on Jay's site, www.playfulengineers.com/videos

Booking Information


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Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

24 hours prior for cancellation

About This Provider

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Playful Engineers

Amherst, MA
United States

As a teaching artist/engineer, maker/tinkerer, musician, recording artist, and educator, Jay Mankita has worked with kids and families for over 30 years. His workshops and presentations are experiential and inspiring. Jay is a life-long learner, with a passion for engineering, especially using repurposed toys and household objects. 

Jay has presented thousands of STEM related, hands-on programs since 2015. Jay is also a touring musician, a Parents' Choice Award winning recording artist, and a songwriter with songs that have traveled the world.

Jay Mankita

Program Details


First I introduce myself and my work as an an artist/engineer. Then I show some video examples of chain reactions. Then I construct a carousel. Then the students construct the same type of carousel along with me. Then we add to it and play with it. If more chain reaction-type materials are available, for instance, dominoes, balls, tracks, etc..., we can add those in to our 'machines' in the remaining time.


The students will learn about gravity as a pull force, and roles of acceleration in momentum in increasing and maintaining speed. They will observe and experience the role of friction in resisting motion, and compare how friction can offer advantages as well as disadvantages to what we're trying to accomplish. They will practice following instructions, and exercise their creative thinking in making adjustments and modifications.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

NGSS are applicable in terms of cause and effect, scale, and force and motion.

Students will be able to practice following instructions, and then exercise their creative thinking in making adjustments and modifications.

State Standards

NGSS are applicable in terms of cause and effect, scale, and force and motion.