Rube Goldberg Project
Zach Weber, Natalie Hintz, Caitlin Kelly, Sam Bertrand
 

Here's a picture of us working on the project

 

Introduction

The purpose of this project in general is for students to learn the relationships of energy conservation, the relationships of conservation of momentum, how to work on a multi-day, multi-task project with a group of students to research, design, and produce a Rube Goldberg machine, and to learn about the use of simple machines. The purpose of out individual project is to use simple machines to create an overall effect that will push a staples “easy” button and the words “that was easy” will be heard.

            For our Rube Goldberg model, we will be using (1) a helium filled balloon, (2) string, (3) a metal rod ramp, (4) 2 meter sticks, (5) scotch tape, (6) an “easy” button, (7) a match, (8) a kinex set, (9) a paper folder, (10) paper weights, (11) a book, and (12) a candle. The set up will look similar to this:

 

Discussion of Results

When the fire is lit, the candle burnt and the flame caught the sting on fire. There was thermal energy involved in this stage. The string burnt into two pieces and released the kinex basket where the ball was being held. The ball then dropped down onto the metal-rod ramp with meter stick bumpers for more accuracy. Before the ball was dropped it had potential energy. At the bottom of the ramp, the ball rolled off and hit the paper folder which had paper weights attached to the top of it. The folder was knocked over and hit the book. Lastly, the book fell over and the “easy” button was pressed. The words “that was easy” were heard. While the folder and book were being knocked over, there was kinetic energy.

 

Reflection

            Our project was successful! We liked how each of our group members did an equal amount of work. We worked very well together and were efficient in completing the project on time. We liked setting the project up and testing it up, but most of all we liked watching it work without error in front of the class when we presented it. What we did not like was that our original idea did not work out as we had planned so we had to change some of the materials we included. It made us nervous that our project was not going to pull through. If we had more time, we would have made our project more complex and exquisite.

 

Materials

(1)  1- helium filled balloon

(2) 1- 2 foot piece of string

(3) 1- metal rod ramp

(4) 2- meter sticks

(5) Scotch tape

(6) 1- “easy” button

(7) 1- match

(8) 1- kinex set

(9) 1- paper folder

(10) 4- paper weights

(11) 1- book

(12) 1- candle