Our theme for the machine is an Awesome Eyeballs 'cat and mouse'g game. The cat scares the mouse, who crashes at the bottom of the ramp, and dies. He comes back as a ghost-rider in the roller skate and seeks his revenge on the cat with a fishing net. We started with a box of random toys and a list of different types of energy transfers. Our primary goal was to have fun, our secondary goal was to have as many different types of energy transfers as possible. In the end, we incorporated gravitational, magnetic, electric, pneumatic, potential, and light energy.
We also purchased very few items for our machine, most of our materials came from our coach's garage and basement. We used a hex bug, a Frisbee, batteries, a weight, scrap wood, string, duct tape, a plastic cup, an old pinewood derby car, a rubber rat, our EV3 robot, a roller skate, a fishing net, a piece of gutter, a spatula, a stuffed cat, some PVC pipe, alligator clips, relays, a Lego car, balloons, tungsten wire, bubble wrap, zip ties, marbles, rubber bands, more duct tape, a mousetrap, cardboard, a table cloth, and a spool from a 3D printer, none of which was bought specifically for this event.
The machine is truly an epic poem come to life. We wrote this poem with some very obvious inspiration from Edgar Allen Poe (who may deserve an apology).
by the Awesome Eyeballs
Once upon a weekend dreary, while I pondered weak and weary
Over many a quaint and curious box of forgotten toys.
While I nodded nearly napping, my cellphone screen madly tapping,
looking for a YouTube video by Bill Nye.
I wanted energy to apply, to put a Band-Aid on that guy.
He must be healed by the Awesome Eye.
Starting with a little creature, a bug to scare a weak-willed teacher,
Wiggling forth towards our next feature,
We all know it’s a trap a mouse could not unpry.
A small post is held by a string that shall not untie.
We’ve made it past the first set trap, and now to melt some bubble wrap.
The rules prohibit using fire and so we found some tungsten wire.
This would do what we desire, the bubble wrap we would fry.
Will this all go awry?
The Lego driver starts to cry, the sky is falling – he wonders why.
Now he’s in a heap of trouble, it looks like he will burst a bubble.
We search for what this all might signify.
Will this all go awry?
Our crash test dummy is a rat, he might be fleeing from a cat.
Who could really argue that? If he does not escape he might die.
His entire life has been a lie, put on this board for reasons why
He will never understand . . . . at the bottom he will land
To turn on a light for the robot to spy.
The rat has launched a mission for the robot to try.
A Band-aids coming, please don’t cry.
A Lego robot from our past, it doesn’t move very fast.
It will initiate an air blast like a spinach-fed Popeye.
The roller skate rolls down the gutter, hitting the net with a shutter.
It may be the ghost of our rat giving one last try.
He’ll swing the net to catch that cat – this revenge will pacify
the ghost of that rat so sly.
A Band-Aid is coming, please don’t cry.
One sits upon the bench of healing adorned with the Awesome Eye,
Patiently waiting for a Band-Aid - hoping this machine will apply.
Smack. And now the story is all told.