Center Inventors TEAM PAGE

The Center for Enrichment
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Online Contest:
Zip A Zipper
Online Division I - Ages 11 - 14 (Middle School)
Team Leader: Ms. Breiner
Team Members: 7
Invitations: 0

What we're studying:
We have been studying many things over the course of this year as we made our Rube Goldberg Machine. We began by learning about the six-step Problem Solving Process and then moved on to all of the simple machines. We then began to brainstorm, design, and start to build the different sections of our outer space-themed piece. We learned to make blueprints, find materials and experiment with our minds! Through trial and error we have learned about what makes a successful transfer of energy from one part to another. We have begun to master many different tools including a saw, a power drill, a glue gun, a paint brush and more! Our machine was so complex that we were still working on it right up until the day before submission. We learned to build friendships with our teammates and to work together to reach our goal. The learning never stops!

Our Team Leader's favorite quote:
"Work together, think BIG, and keep trying!"

Why we think we should win:
We feel very proud of the work that we have accomplished together as a team of Rube Goldberg inventors. Although the marble cascade section of our machine failed and even broke during our full run-through, we persevered and supported each other to get that zipper to zip! When we were designing and building the piece we had to think very creatively to get such a large and complicated chain reaction to flow together successfully. We wanted to stretch out and use our entire classroom space to make the most exciting machine possible. This is the biggest machine that has been built in the history of our team! We built complicated parts of the machine from scratch like a Newton's Cradle made of bocce balls, a zip line with a weighted roller skate, and a complex pulley system. We incorporated fun space-themed elements like stars, a black hole, a rocket, and the fabric of space itself to tell a story with our steps. Most importantly, we learned to work together and use our individual strengths to create the most interesting, best-looking, and fun Rube Goldberg Machine we could dream of!

Suggestion for next year's challenge:
Make lemonade!

Favorite Rube Goldberg video:

We're the Center Inventors and this is our Outer Space-themed Rube Goldberg Machine!!

Our Step List

1. The rocket "launches" by pulling a rope attached to a pulley

2. The rocket tips the lever and releases the boot "comet"

3. The boot "comet" slides down the zip line and hits the table

4. The table shakes on impact and causes the "moon" weight to fall

5. The weight falls onto the fulcrum which tips over a small bucket

6. The contents of the bucket fall into a larger bucket, causing it to go down

7. The second bucket descends, causing a third bucket to rise (they are connected by a pulley system.) This bucket hits a lever with a finger on it

8. The finger lever goes down and pulls a "wooden pin" from its resting place up above

9. The falling pin releases a marble which goes through the "black hole" and then down a series of tubes

10. When it passes through the final tube, the marble hits a set of dominoes

11. The last domino triggers a mousetrap

12. The force of the mousetrap snapping causes a roller skate to roll down an inclined plane and hit a ping pong paddle attached to the bottom of a crutch

13. The top of the crutch pivots forward hitting the first bocce ball of the Newton's Cradle (which was resting on a stick)

14. The Newton's Cradle transfers
the energy throughout the balls and hits a clamp on the other side

15. The clamp jostles a final bocce ball that is resting on top of an inclined plane. It has a string attached to it and the zipper. It rolls down the inclined plane and the weight causes the zipper to zip up outer space!!

Our Close-ups: Photos

Our Close-ups: Favorite Step

Our Close-ups: Task Completion

Our Machine Explaination and Walkthrough

Our Machine Run Videos

Machine Run #1
Machine Run #2