The Ball Run Factory

Build inventive marble machines with science, technology and everyday materials

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Suitable for ages 7-12. All children must be accompanied by an adult.​​


16th February 2019

What time

9:30AM–12:30PM & 1:00PM–4:00PM



14-18 Broad Street,




£12 - early bird (book before 1 Feb)

£15 – full price

Get Tickets

Suitable for ages 7-12. All children must be accompanied by an adult.​​

Use recycled and everyday materials to design and construct amazing ball runs.

In this hands-on workshop you and your child will work with artists and technologists to turn cardboard tubes, plumbing pipes and wooden tracks into creative contraptions.

Make your marble run interactive by adding switches, lights, sounds and movement using simple electronics – and a bit of science and engineering know-how!

Our team of experts will be there to give you tips and help bring your ideas to life.

Bring your own Bits!

We'll have plenty of scrap and craft materials to help build your ball run, but if you have any recycling or other objects and materials that could be useful, please bring them along. Cardboard tubes, plastic tubs, toys – anything goes!

If you already own a BBC Micro:bit, Raspberry Pi, or other creative coding tool that you'd like to use or learn more about, bring it along and we can give you some tips.


  • 9:30AM–12:30PM
  • 1:00PM–4:00PM


  • £12 – early bird (book before 1 Feb)
  • £15 – full price

Price is per child. Accompanying adults free.

This event is aimed at children aged 7-12. Adults permitted only to accompany children. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

What will you learn?

Marble Machines by Exploratorium's Tinkering Studio

Marble Machines by Exploratorium's Tinkering Studio

Inspired by Exploratorium's Tinkering Studio, this activity will challenge participants to experiment with materials and technology. Children will need to refine their designs and solve problems through testing, questioning and learning through failing.

Creative explorers will be supported to observe and be resourceful, while experimenting through play.

What is Explorers Fair?

Explorers Fair is Broadway's celebration of arts, play, science and technology. 

Head to Broadway on Saturday 16 & Sunday 17 February for a weekend of discovery.

Festival of Science and Curiosity

Explorers Fair is part of Nottingham's Festival of Science and Curiosity. Bringing Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths to the heart of Nottingham from 13-20 February 2019.

Visit for more information.

Host & Facilitator

The Ball Run Factory is led by Near Now Studio Member Roma Patel.

Roma is a theatre artist and maker designing for performances and immersive installations. Her current work explores the opportunities for mixed reality spaces that merge electronic and wearable technologies with traditional theatre craft to create sensory playful performance installations for young audiences.

Roma Patel