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What were you thinking?
Eighteen years ago, Rich Maxwell had no hobbies, no favorite sports team, no workshop. Marbles ignited in him a hairs-on-fire adventure, both collecting and played marbles with kids at libraries, churches, schools and festivals. Rich wrote a book, Collecting Marbles: A Beginner Guide and has taught aver 2,000 kids how to knuckle down and shoot a marble.

After the Sandy Hook tragedy, author Rich Maxwell, a marbles player, was committed to scheduling  Marbles Activities Workshops, at local Johnson County Kansas Libraries and schools, to raise awareness about the age-old past-time of playing marbles,

Maxwell has shown thousands of children and families how to knock marbles out of a ring with a shooter marble, at book signings and festivals. He also built several marbles boards, which he takes to retirement centers for senior residents to re-connect with the age-old marbles games.

Maxwell explains, Everyone asks me, “How do you play marbles?” So, with a  master’s degree is in early childhood education, and nine years in elementary and Head Start classrooms I began preparing “lesson plans” for teachers, counselors, scout leaders, children’s ministers – anyone who wants to learn the character development dynamics of playing marbles."

His first book Collecting Marbles (May 2013) lead to the launch of his Facebook Page, The Best Marble Activities [January 2015] after parents kept telling him, "All my kids want to do is watch TV and play computer games".

In 2015 Maxwell started designing a marble contraption at the Johnson County Kansas Central Library Makershpace. Waterline tubing with wire inside carry marbles down a track that can be as long and as complex as your imagination will allow. The take-away ... The DIY Marble Run.

At the 2016 Kansas City Makerfaire Maxwell was awarded a Blue Ribbon for his DIY Marble Track invention. Ten schools have engaged in programs to build Marble Tracks, which lead Maxwell's to organize  the Marble Track Championships.

Rich Maxwell has been fascinated with marbles, since his boyhood days, growing up in the rural town of Whiting, Kansas.

A Kansas State University, Elementary Education graduate, Rich earned his Master’s Degree in Urban Education from Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri.

For more information or to correspond with the author/inventor, send Rich an email:

Marble Tracks?
Young people want to create. 20 minutes after a group masters the game of Ringer, they are making up new rules, giving the game a new name...their naturally Makers. Given my passion for marbles, I came up with the idea of designing an open-ended, marble track, with unlimited possibilities.

100's of events; 1,000 of kids; Finally I created a marble run that you can make as tall, as long and as complicated as you like.

All you need are some common hardware store supplies and the ingenious Track Spacers that keep the track running parallel.

Imagine the excitement of seeing marbles flying down a track you made yourself! The possibilities are unlimited!

                                                                                            - Rich Maxwell

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