Friday, December 24, 2021

Makeway Marble Run With Cutesy the Elf 2021

Cutesy opened the Makeway Marble Run package that was delivered yesterday. He put together a marble run to ring a bell. The sign next to him said, "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets their wings. Can you make a new way to ring the bell?

Makeway was a Kickstarter project started early in 2020. I was an early backer. I thought the Makeway kit would be great for my STEAM Shop classroom. Originally, the kit was supposed to be delivered in September 2020. The manufacturing process was completely disrupted by Covid 19 shutdowns, border closings, and worker shortages. There were 32 email updates sent out during the waiting process for the kit. Makeway sent out the basic packages without add-ons to as many backers as they could as quickly as they could. They started delivering to North America first. I am still waiting for my add-on light kit package. Unfortunately, I have changed jobs and no longer have a STEAM Shop classroom. So, I let our elf set it up for Boogs to use.
As soon as he saw it, Boogs set the marble in motion to see it ring the bell. It took a few minutes to figure out how to reset it to make it work again.
Then, Boogs set up a different marble run using some other components from the kit. He planned for it to ring two bells.

Here is the first marble run Boogs put together. I am sure he will be creating many more.
National Geographic partnered with Makeway and there are now kits available at Target and other stores. I used an oil pan that I bought at an auto store as our surface for the magnets. I like that the oil pan is big, light weight, and portable so I can move it around the house or take it to my classroom.

I'm sure we will spend many hours configuring new runs. We have not yet taken everything out of the packages. Boogs immediately put up the cannon. It gets hit by a marble and then launches another marble on its opposite side. There are various interchangable tracks - some are straight, some curved, some flexible, and some are shaped like stairs. I am excited to try the ball lifts. The kit also has bells, gates, levers, launchers, cannons, catapults, and spinners. I can't wait to see how the light expansion add-on items work, hopefully those will arrive soon.

The only negative thing I have discovered about it so far (after only one day with it) is that the pieces are plastic and feel like they might break if not gently handled. The kit came with a 14+ label on it. It did not indicate that age limit when I first ordered it.  I don't know if my elementary students will be careful enough with it to keep the pieces from breaking. My students won't have a problem configuring various runs. I feel like the age on it is because of the fragility of the pieces. Boogs and I will have to play around with it some more to decide. Overall, I am happy with this marble run, it is a lot of fun. Even if I only use it at home, I am happy I purchased it.

Here is a link to a Youtube video about Makeway. 

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