Monday, November 14, 2011

Rube Goldberg Model

Rube Goldberg was a political cartoonist in the 1950s who was also an inventor.  He made complex gadgets that performed simple tasks in the most convoluted ways.  You've seen his work in movies when the crazy inventor hits his alarm clock and it sets off a chain reaction the eventually ends in the coffee starting and eggs getting cracked into a pan.

Today, there are several international competitions where teams of college students strive to create the most complex Rube Goldberg machine they can (the current record is 244 steps).  For science, J had the task of creating his own Rube Goldberg model.  It had to be small (no bigger than 30cm by 60 cm) and it must include one of each of the six types of simple machines to accomplish a task.  J chose to have his machine pour a glass of water.

The video below shows his machine in action.  It starts off with a marble being placed into an inclined plane.  (Excuse our enthusiasm, this was the first test run that worked.) 


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