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Notion of Motion

Skateboarding and science come together in this gnarly exhibit focused on the fundamentals of physics

STEM meets skateboarding in this physics-focused exhibit!

Through problem-solving and interactive play, Notion of Motion invites children to explore the science behind skateboarding through a variety of interactive games and challenges.

In this exhibit, children can build their own skatepark, take apart boards in the skate shop, or try balancing on different skateboards while learning about force, mass, gravity, and energy. Friction Hill provides an opportunity for children to experience the effects of friction on their board’s speed and learn how to adjust their body positioning to optimize their ride. Meanwhile, the magnetic wall and racing ramp let kids experiment with different components and materials to explore how they affect speed and trajectory.

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

Build your own skatepark: Check out this Notion of Motion exhibit game at home as you experiment with how the shape and elevation of a ramp will affect the skateboard’s trajectory! Build your ramp by dragging a ramp shape to the playing area next to your current ramp. It will snap into place when you get it close. Change the shape and flip the ramp using the Options wheel. Click “Go” to ride the ramp and hit the “Boost” button to go faster. When you complete a challenge, you will see a checkmark appear next to that challenge. Can you complete all 5 challenges?


Check out Notion of Motion game


Ways to Play

  1. Do heavy things really fall to the ground faster than light things? Experiment with physics by sending turtles riding skateboards down the racing ramp. Does changing the number of turtles on the skateboard change how fast the skateboard goes?
  2. What board and piece of carpet will allow you to go down Friction Hill the fastest? The slowest?
  3. 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?

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