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St Nicholas CE Primary School

Easter Holiday 1

Ramp and Roll


Online warm up

Create beats using sounds from the everyday world on:


Offline warm up

Engineers solve problems to improve our lives. Brainstorm an invention that can improve your life. Draw how it will work.



Main activity - Ramp Race

Required Materials


  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • A 20cm × 30cm piece of cardboard
  • Glue or tape
  • Materials to test (e.g. foil, sandpaper, paper towels etc)
  • A coin or toy car
  • Stopwatch


Your challenge is to investigate which material will best slow a coin (or toy car) at the bottom of a ramp.

First watch this video about friction to help gain an understanding of how it works:


Next, set up your activity. You can either create one cardboard ramp and swap the materials around or create several cardboard ramps next to each other (make sure this is a fair rest and keep them at the same incline though.)


Gather the materials you will use to slow your car or coin down (paper towels, foil, sandpaper, paper plus any other you wish to try.)


Next line each ramp with your test materials. You could stick it down with tape or glue.


Test each ramp in turn by timing how long the object takes to travel down it. For a fair test, use the same object on all the ramps.


The longer the object takes to go down, the more friction the material has.


Extra challenge

You could:
- create a table of results

  • create a bar chart to show your results with the materials along the bottom and the time along the side.

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