We are going to start with a pendulum. It is going to hit a golf ball which is going in cup. The cup is on a sea saw. When the sea saw goes up, it will make a zip line go by pulling it up. The zip line will fly down hitting the bell. We watched videos on Rube Goldberg machines to help us get ideas.
Further Introduction Research
We made an official sketch of our Rube Goldberg Machine. This weekend we are finding some of our materials. I will be getting a rock, PVC pipe, and the wooden boards.
Today I watched some more videos on Rube Goldberg machines. I learned some things like if we can't use PVC pipe, a less expensive alternative would be to cut an empty paper towel roll in half. This way, we can get the ball to go twice the distance with the same amount of materials. These ideas could be helpful if something goes wrong with our original plan.
Changing the plans
We decided that it was too hard to find PVC pipes. We found hot wheels tracks that worked even better when we tested them out. We also found it easier to use a flower pot and a wooden plank instead of our original plan for the sea saw. Im getting the wooden plank.
This is the new plan:
We started building today. We can't find the hot wheels tracks. We'll have to find something else to use. I think we're going to use the paper towel idea from before. We could just use tape and stick them to the wall because they're so light.
We continued building today. We are using the paper towel idea. It worked much better than the hot wheels tracks.
We decided that this plan we have now is far better than the original plan. We are still continuing building.
We tested the materials. We need to change out the eraser for something heavier like a rock. The tape seems to be a little to weak. It takes too much to stick the ball on the wall. If we taped something the the wall that could hold the ball, it wouldn't get stuck on the wall and it would stay on the wall better before it was hit.
We tested the other materials and they work fine. We only need to replace some parts. Some of the parts are the thing holding the ball, the tracks that the ball will roll on, and the thing that will slide on the zip line.
Technical Parts of the Project
We have some technical parts of our project. We need to angle our pipe in the right direction so the ball goes at the right speed and right direction. We also need to adjust the force of the pendulum so it hits the ball but not to hard.
At first we were just taping the golf ball to the wall. But now we tape a spoon to the wall and put the ball on the spoon. The ball doesn't get stuck to the wall anymore.
Clip Zip Line
We were going to use a pulley to go down the zip line but we needed something lighter. We instead used a clip. The clip will hit the buzzer bell at the bottom. The clip was very easy to push off the zip line when the string was pulled up.
We are almost done with our project. We have all the stages except for the last one done. Soon we will have the bell that we need to read. If we don't find a bell, then we'll use something else that is easy to push.
Race Car, the Next Step
We couldn't find a bell to use for our project. We needed to use something else that was easy to push. We decided to use a race car toy. The rest of the project will be the same, but now we're just having it do something similar to what it was doing before.
We have a picture of our model:
We had a paper towel roll that didn't work very well. It would always fall down, lose it's shape, and get the ball stuck in tape. One of the other students gave us a thick plastic pipe to use that only needs two pieces of duck tape to hold it up. Now it's easier for the ball to roll and it only takes a minute to set up.
We tested the whole machine today. It worked! The car was moved. It didn't move very far, but it did move! There are still minor flaws to the design, but they don't effect it much. We don't have enough time to fix them, but the machine still works with them so its fine.
Video of Machine Working
We finally finished our Rube Goldberg machine. It turned out to be very different then how we originally planned it to be. We had many parts of the machine that were changed out. We even had the overall objective changed. There were many problems with the machine, but we found ways to fix them. For example, the golf ball would always fall off of the spoon. We found out that if you tilted it a little bit, the golf ball would stay along the wall and go the right direction.
Building the machine was fun. I won't use it for a career or anything, but I might build a Rube Goldberg machine just for fun this summer.
I learned some things from this project. One of them was just because something looks good on a google drawing, doesn't mean it will be easy to create or easy to find the materials. I also learned that Rube Goldberg machines are cool to watch, but it takes a lot of work and effort to make one.
I'm glad I choose the Rube Goldberg project. Out of all the choices it looked like looked like the most fun. I like working in groups because you might have good ideas, but if you combine your good ideas with someone else's good ideas, the project will be even better.