How to Make a Galton Board

The bean machine, also known as the Galton Board or quincunx, is a device invented by Sir Francis Galton to demonstrate the central limit theorem, in particular, that with sufficient sample size the binomial distribution approximates a normal distribution. [Wikipedia]


  1. Printable
  2. Cork board (6″ x 11″, 1/2″ thick)
  3. White glue
  4. Pins
  5. Popsicle sticks (11)
  6. Straw
  7. Scissors
  8. Foam tape
  9. Round beads – 1/4″


Gather your materials. 


Glue the printable to one side of the corkboard. Then, trim the paper to the corkboard. You can download the printable here


Push a pin into every dot. You may need a grown-up to assist you. 


Glue a popsicle stick on top of every line, using beads to help evenly space the popsicle sticks. Let them dry for at least ½ hour.  


Cut 2” of the straw and glue it along the top of the corkboard centered above the first row of pins.


Lean the corkboard up against a wall and drop some beads down the straw. The more beads you drop, the better! 

DIY Details


Avg. Duration

1 hour

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