Notion of Motion:
Science of Skateboarding

Opened in May 2018, STEM meets skateboarding in our brand new physics-focused, game-based exhibit! In Notion of Motion: Science of Skateboarding, you’ll learn about force, mass, gravity, and energy through interactive, problem-solving components including a skates shop, race track, magnetic wall, modular skate park, friction hill, rolling ball sculpture, balance boards, and game touch tables.

This exhibit is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, and was developed in collaboration with the University of Iowa and the University of Washington!

Play Prompts

  • On the magnetic wall, build a track that is 2 feet tall and carries a ball 4 feet. How many pieces did you use to make the ramp?
  • How many different combinations of modular skate ramp track can you create that cause a skateboarder to stop on its own after traveling 3 feet?
  • Using modular skate ramp track pieces, start at one end of the table and have a partner start at the other end. Make a track that the skateboarder can ride.
  • Test the force of friction by skateboarding down Friction Hill!
  • Do heavy things really fall to the ground faster than light things? Test this belief by experimenting with turtles riding skateboards down the skateboard racing ramp. Does changing the number of turtles on the skateboard impact how fast the skateboard travels?

This exhibit initiates:

Healthy Kids
School Readiness
STEM