Chain Reaction Mystery: Part 2

This experiment builds off the last motion energy experiment. However, the goal of this one is to put both creations together to create one big chain reaction that uses the two types of energy the students have learned about.


  • dominoes
  • toy cars
  • scissors
  • 1 dixie cup
  • tape
  • paperclips
  • marker
  • pop-up sign handout
  • chain reaction starter kit
  • stacked books


  1. have the students work in pairs: 1 folder and 1 cutter
  2. Fold the handout in half and cut on the dotted lines
  3. Fold the flaps of the paper on the solid line and the flap with the ?
  4. Decide and write a message on the opposite flap of the ?
  5. tape the dixie cup to the edge of a table (it needs to be able to flip so place one piece of tape on the inside and attach to the table edge)
  6. place the handout so that “table lines” are on top of the table and the middle crease fits on the corner
  7. Place 2 paperclips on the mystery flap, but make sure it stays up to cover the message on the opposite flap
  8. Now using the chain reaction handout, create another ramp as in the previous experiment
  9. Tape the ramp to the table leading into the cup and to a stack of books for the incline
  10. Using the marble, ramp, and cup from the previous experiment, begin a line of dominoes that starts at the end of that ramp and leads to the top of the one you just made
  11. Finally place a toy car at the top of the 2nd ramp
  12. Now you have the continuation of part 1, Try it out starting with the ruler/lever


  • What worked/ didn’t work?
  • How was kinetic energy transferred and where?
  • Where was the potential energy stored?

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