On Target Challenge

Required materials:

zip line (wire or fishing line), index card, marbles, masking tape, paper clips, paper cups, scissors, a Target (drawn on a piece of paper)


Skip the trip to the store! Purchase a kit at Etsy.com.


This activity turns a paper cup into something that can zip down a line and drop a marble onto a target. Just as the success of NASA's LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) depends on hitting the crater exactly, success in this activity depends on being able to hit the target accurately and consistently. As students test their designs, encourage them to find ways to make it work better.


A few of the items needed for this activity are reusable or can be replaced by classroom or household items you already have, saving you even more money!

NGSS Alignment:

2. Developing and using models  3. Planning and carrying out investigations