In our effort to introduce more STEM activities for our girls we agreed to review the MagnetCube CoasterCube Modular Magnetic Marble Rollercoaster, a starter pack set for ages 8+
What is it?
The CoasterCubes marble rollercoaster set is pretty much what it sounds like – a set of 64 magnetic cubes with 28 marble run pieces and 3 metalic marbles that you can build, adapt and plan to create an endless variety of marble runs.
What’s in the box?
There are 64 magnetic cubes, 4 U-turns, 10 straight pieces, 10 quarter turns and 4 down pieces, 3 marbles and 32 clips in the box. They come compactly packaged in a plastic box which is fairly sturdy and makes for an easy to pack away cubed game.
How does it work?
The 64 magnetic cubes come apart to allow for a huge variety of building possibilities, from single layers to multiple layers with all sorts of twists and turn possibilities. One of the best benefits I’ve found from this game is the girls, through play, learning about trajectory and magnetism. For example, Ameli built a marble run and set a marble free to run though it. It ran through to the other end, where we had set up three marbles in a straight line – she didn’t think the original marble would travel that far, and was very surprised – and excited – when it hit not only the first marble, and then went on to hit the second and third. She was fascinated by this, and actually went further, using the metal rods from our Geomag construction set to manipulate the direction of the marble as it came off the run. This may not have been the intent of the marble run game, but it was a fun, natural learning introduction to physics and a few Newtonian laws.
This is an absolutely brilliant set and despite being a starter set there’s plenty there to build with. It’s one of those things where you’ll never likely have too many, and you can probably fill a room with the most amazing tricks and turns. With what we had we did find, sometimes, that there wasn’t enough momentum to make the marble actually make some of the turns, and it did need nudging from time to time – something a longer run and bigger set would probably offset – that in itself was a good lesson in propulsion and energy, and even gravity!
Learning through play is a really superb way of learning anything at all, and this fun set isn’t only great for that learning of new skills and concepts, but it’s also a fun way to spend a dark evening, having fun and spending time together.