Balls down the wall

At this exhibit, you can build and test your own ball run. A ball run is a series of magnetic track or tube pieces that can be put together on a metal panel so that a ball can travel along them. There are three shiny metal panels, each of which you can be used to create a ball run by sticking the magnetic pieces to them.

The panels run from adult head height to the floor and the pieces are stored in black plastic troughs at the bottom of each panel.

To create your ball run, you can use clear straight tubes, white corner tubes, or any other special pieces

These pieces are all magnetic and will stick to the metal panels.

It can be difficult to separate the magnetic pieces from the panel by just pulling and you may find it easier to slide them across the surface of the panel instead.

There are different balls available for you to try out on your ball run – do they feel the same?

Do you think they will travel and/or sound the same as they go down your track?

Sensory Guidance & Advice

If you have a hearing aid or cochlear implant, try not to hold the magnetic pieces very close to it.

Balls down the wall accessible description


Audio instructions




Visual Instructions




Extra Challenges


  • Create a track using the smallest number of pieces.
  • Create a track where as one ball stops, another starts
  • Create a track which allows different balls to flow different routes