Rube Goldberg Machine

This is a Rube Goldberg Machine. A Rube Goldberg machine is a contraption, invention, device or apparatus that is deliberately over-engineered or overdone to perform a very simple task in a very complicated fashion, usually including a chain reaction.

Day 1

I chose to do a Rube Goldberg Machine with Hannah and Jacey. I chose to do a Rube Goldberg Machine because I like problem- solving and finding complicated ways to do simple tasks. I want to learn how to use simple household tools and create something amazing. This involves engineering and laws of physics. As well as creativity and concentration. I do not see myself being in a career that involves this type of creation. My father is a mechanical engineer but I will most likely not follow in his footsteps.

Day 2

I looked up videos and researched other people who successfully accomplished making a machine. I ordered a document from Amazon explaining how to make these interesting contraptions. I asked my dad how he uses the laws of physics to complete his job. He gave me important information that I will now use to make a Rube Goldberg Machine. We are planning out our machine now.

Day 3

Today we have started planning and laying out our machine. We watched a couple different YouTube videos. The first one was titled Ok Go- This To Shall Pass. In this video they used a pulley system and attached a can on the top. When the ball hit the button,the pulley system was activated and the ball went up. We will use this idea to replace a rolling stage. We visited a few websites.

Day 4

We made a ramp and set up a ball on top, so it could roll down. Then it will knock down  foam board with pennies taped on the top. The foam board will push another ball down into a cup that has a hole on the bottom. Next the ball will fall through and land on the board that its balancing on a platform. On the other end of the board there is a balloon that will be escalating up to a needle that will pop the balloon.

Day 5

Today we learned different strategies for our machine.  We learned about the effects of gravity. We drew out our machine and labeled the motions of energy. We labeled the energy transformations. Tomorrow we are bringing in our objects and bringing our drawing to life!

Day 6

Our Rube Goldberg Machine drawing (its upside down)

Today we brought in items to make our Rube Goldberg Machine. We brought in a golf ball, ramp, foam board, pennies, bouncy ball, cup, teeter totter, a balloon, and a needle. We laid out the materials and plotted out how to start building our machine.  We drew out our machine.

Day 7

Today we failed. Our project did not work. We didn't have a solid plan on how the needle would pop the balloon but it didn't work. The needle was to frail and we didn't use the materials in the right way. We didn't use any technical parts in our project. Tommorrow we will rearrange the materials and hopefully make this work.  

Day 8

We made a ramp out of foam board and duct tape on a table with a pole nearby. We attached the ramp to the pole so its on an angle. We need to figure out a couple things for our machine. One thing we need to figure out is what angle do we need to position the ramp. Another thing is to where to put the boundary so the ball bounces at a 90 degree angle.   We worked out most of the technicalities today. Our machine is slowly coming together .

Our ramp made from foam board and duct tape

Day 8 (continued)

Today we added a few more stages to our machine. We added a ramp and a cup for the golf ball to fall into. We also incresed the size of the needle. We decided to completely change the fourth stage into a balloon being raised up, then getting popped.

Day 9

Today we tried to follow up with our third planned out stage, which was for something to knock down a golf ball from a table onto a teeter totter. The other end of the teeter totter had a blown up balloon which would be raised up and hit a needle which would pop the balloon. That idea did not succeed. However, we made it work, but with a few changes. To fix the machine we would either need a thicker needle, or add more pressure to the suspended needle. We ended up changing our machine stage completely.  

This is an updated drawing of our machine

Day 10

Today we successfully built the first three stages of our machine. The first stage was a ramp that the golf ball rolls down then hits boundary 1 and boundary 2. Boundary 1 is made out of foam board. Boundary 2 is made out of wood. The ball hits the boundaries and rolls down the table into a red cup. The ball rolls through the cup and hits the next stage in which we are currently creating. Here is a video of our completed stages.

Day 11

Today we successfully created stage 1,2,&3. Stage 1 is a golf ball rolling down a ramp. The golf ball will then roll down the table and hit boundary 1 and 2, creating stage 2. Stage 3 is when the ball hits boundary 2 and rolls into the red cup then falls to the ground.

Day 11

Today we did research on how to successfully make a Rube Goldberg from start to finish. One thing we read about was that after the ball dropped through the cup it should land on a book that has a balloon on the middle of it. When the ball lands in the cup that is on the book, it will lean down so the balloon on the opposite side will rise 2-3 inches off the ground.

Day 12

Today we tested out the new things we learned about. It surprisingly worked. The balloon raised about 3 inches and hit a nail. We decided to change the needle into a nail because it is sturdier and pops the balloon without much pressure. We still need to figure out stages 4&5 which we are doing tomorrow.

Day 13

Today we adjusted and re-did our machine. The ball rolls faster, there are less objects in the way which gives it a sleek look. We are making changes to our step 4. Tomorrow we will add a few items and try to modify more.

Day 14

The modifications we need to figure out is a way to have the golf ball roll directly in the cup each time. So the things that we had modify was that the ball will roll down the ramp and hit the board. Then the ball will hit a block that is in front of another golf ball. After the ball hit the board, the board will knock the other golf ball into the cup.

Day 15

We had made some modifications in our machine. We had add a line that something can slide down it and knock the ball off the ramp. However, this sometimes don't work, so we need to make sure it works everytime.

Day 16

Today we had modify our first 2 stages on our machine. We had to move the string so the slider can successfully slide down the string without anymore help. Also we rebuild our ramp, too, because we needed a clean slate so the ball could successfully roll off the stage and down the ramp.

Day 17

We were not able to get our Rube Goldberg Machine to work. We don't think it worked because our original plan didn't work and we didn't have any news ideas until like yesterday. We had to change basically everything. We kept the ramp and the cup and the boundaries, but that's pretty much it.

Day 18

Well this was the last day to do our machine. As usual, we didn't get it to work. I guess we didn't get enough time to re-create our machine and get new ideas. My project did not make me want to pursue the subject more. It made me want to stop. I don't like learning about how pulleys can activate switches and how gravity and inertia play into this stuff. I like doing hands on projects but now I know this wasn't good for me. I would have kept this same project. Although I didn't like this, I got to be with my friends. Which was cool. I did learn some things. I learned that Jacey is really smart. I learned that Hannah and I talk a lot. I learned that you don't have to try so hard to fit in, because the greatest friends you will ever make are the ones that are closest to you.I also learned that  pulleys are really easy to use. And last of all, I learned that STEM isn't really my thing.

Comment Stream

2 years ago

This is great. Happy we are working together

2 years ago

It's interesting to see how they're going through great detail to try and make their project work day by day. Checking different resources. Can't wait to see how they make this work.

2 years ago

good job talking about why your machine failed

2 years ago

great idea making such a contraption to do something simple like pop a balloon!

2 years ago