Creativity Drills - "Reduce the Friction" (SCAMPER Activity)

Shown below is a "SCAMPER" activity.  In this exercise, students are encouraged to think creatively and come up with original ideas for a concept or scenario.  Students will learn specific strategies that will help foster original ideas and "outside-the-box" thinking.  To learn more about "SCAMPER" activities, click here.     

The Task:

A rectangular wooden block 4`x3`x1` is pushed down a wooden ramp. 

How can you reduce the friction and increase how quickly the block is pushed down the ramp?

Where do we begin?  Click here to find out how "SCAMPER" activities work...


The term SCAMPER is an acronym for strategies that students might emply as they try to come up with original ideas:

  • S - Substitute
  • C - Combine
  • A - Adapt
  • M - Modify
  • P - Put to another use
  • E - Eliminate
  • R - Reverse

Students should use the above strategies to foster their creative thinking.  A few examples they might consider are:

  • Modify- Add rollers underneath the block.
  • Substitute - Put wax paper on the bottom of the block instead of the wooden bottom
  • Adapt- Make the surface of the ramp smoother, or add oil to the ramp