Wonder Wheels

At this exhibit, you can design your own experiments to test how different wheels travel down the sloping track and to see if you can work out why the different wheels travel at different speeds.

At the front of the exhibit is a set of green analogue weighing scales and five black wheels in a pink rectangular holding stations.

Behind the weighing scales and exhibit label, there are two silver metal tracks that you can test and race the wheels on..

To start your experiment, select two wheels. Look at them carefully. Can you predict which one might be the fastest or slowest?

You can weigh the wheels with the weighing scales to help inform your prediction. The wheels might feel a little heavy – do they all look, feel or weigh the same?

When you are ready, place your two chosen wheels at the top of the track, and let go.

You don’t need to push them. The wheels will roll down the track and stop at the end point.

Sensory Guidance & Advice

Avoid fingers when wheels on track. Wheels can be noisy if they crash.

Wonder Wheels accessible description


Audio instructions



Audio description – Wonder Wheels




Visual instructions




Extra Challenges


  • On one of the wheels you can change how close the weights are to the centre of the wheel. 
  • Why do you think the different wheels move at different speeds?
  • Can you find the slowest wheel? Why do you think is it the slowest?
  • If you would like a further challenge – can you make two different wheels arrive at the finish line at the same time?