Center for Ed Enrich.Gateway Middle
New York, NY, USA

Online Contest:
Inflate A Balloon and Pop It!
Online Division I - Ages 11 - 14 (Middle School)
Team Leader: Ms. Eleni Liakaris
Team Members: 7
Invitations: 0

What we're studying:
Simple Machines, Coke & Mentos, Engineering Design Process, and how to blow up and pop a balloon.

Our Team Leader's favorite quote:
"It is surprising how much you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit" Abraham Lincoln

** a note from the teacher:
The team has been tirelessly working to improve and film their marvelous machine for the last three weeks. They planned to include a walk through video with a skit and new machine run video. They, themselves, have become a well-oiled machine; they seamlessly take turns to set up all the parts, listen to each other’s ideas, and try, try, try again. Though this can be stressful, they have held themselves together beautifully and even laugh together about their shared misfortunes (which include but are not limited to: the finicky machine, parts mysteriously disappearing or breaking off, and an accident that set off the soda explosion and sprayed coke all over the team). Despite all the mishaps, this group of kids never gave up hope or lost their composure. They are resilient and clever and I am very proud of them. Though they weren’t able to capture the footage they needed in time to meet the April 1st deadline, I encouraged them to submit the videos of their machine from the high school contest we attended. They want to be a part of the contest, even if, in their words, "it's not perfect; but at least we're showing up and giving what we've got." I hope you will join me in celebrating what they have accomplished.

Why we think we should win:
There are a number of reasons why we deserve to win this contest. First of all, we have put so much hard work and extra time into this project. Another reason we should win is that we thought of a creative way to blow up the balloon and we did not use an air compressor. All of our team members are very passionate about this machine. If one thing doesn’t work we will work on it until we get it. We also think we could win because we put a lot of our time into it. When we went to the Rube Goldberg contest the judges said that our machine had the spirit of Rube Goldberg and our machine has a strong theme and that it was very complicated because it had over 20 steps (More then required). Our teacher, Ms. Liakaris organized some after school meet-ups to work on our machine. Lastly, our machine in general is very creative. With the minds of 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders and an excellent teacher we have created a machine that deserves to win.

Favorite Rube Goldberg video:

7 Students+ 2Teachers+ Household Items= Awesome Machine

Our Step List

1.Balloon deflates
2.Air from the balloon knocks over Jenga blocks
3.Last Jenga block hits swinging lever
4. Lever hits another set of Jenga blocks
5. Last Jenga block hits 2nd swinging lever with string attached
6. Swinging lever pulls out a piece of wood with marble laying on it
7. Marble rolls down ramp
8. Marble hits a wiffle ball
9. Wiffle ball goes through basketball hoop
10. Wiffle Ball hits the American flag ball
11. American flag ball rolls into bucket attached to the pulley
12. Flag ball rolls into bucket, Bucket goes down causing 2nd bucket to lift up off of the lever
13. Lever with Newton’s Cradle ball balanced on top of it falls down and
Newton’s Cradle ball hits the other balls
14. Last ball hits the bottom of wood which tennis ball is on top of
15. Ball rolls down into a can
16. Can rolls down
17. Tennis ball rolls out of can
18. Tennis ball hits a stick
19. Stick falls causing the spinning tower with ball attached to collapse
20. Spinning ball hits Jenga tower
21. One Jenga piece attached to a string
22. String pulls out of hole causing Mentos to fall into soda with a balloon attached on top of it
23. Soda explodes filling up balloon
24. Balloon hits needles and pops
25. Soda drains into a tube and soda goes into pitcher

Our Close-ups: Photos

Our Close-ups: Favorite Step

Our Close-ups: Task Completion

Our Machine Explaination and Walkthrough

Our Machine Run Videos