The Lawrence Hall of Science
The public science center of the University of California, Berkeley.
The Lawrence is getting ready to re-open. We’ll see you on October 30th!
For over 50 years, The Lawrence Hall of Science has been at the forefront of science education.
On a visit to The Lawrence, students collaborate to investigate new ideas as they become scientists and engineers for a day.
We partner with school districts to support science learning. We offer district-wide elementary, middle, and high school programs, either virtually or in-person.
We collaborate with a range of partners to innovate in science education. Together, we go further.
In Ramps and Rollers, you can design tracks, set your own challenges, and then experiment with the forces of both potential and kinetic energy as you try to solve those forces.
How long a track can you create that will let a ball roll continuously down? What happens when you add middle ramps and then vary their height? The ball that you’re holding in your hand, before it’s even rolling, contains stored energy due to its height above the ground, which is called potential energy. When you release it to run down a track, it starts to convert its potential energy into motion energy, called kinetic energy.
Ramps and Rollers is also designed to let our youngest visitors explore physical science and engineering. So encourage your own young engineer to create pathways and vertical drops using ramps, and then to test their design using small balls and the force of gravity. Can she design a different pathway so the ball rolls farther? Or how can he create a design to slow the ball or speed it up?