Purple Vikings who Mash Potatoes TEAM PAGE

Home school
, MD, USA

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Online Contest:
Hammer A Nail
Online Division I - Ages 11 - 14 (Middle School)
Team Leader:
Team Members: 3
Invitations: 0



What we're studying:
Lots of cool stuff.

Our Team Leader's favorite quote:
To Infinity and Beyond!

Why we think we should win:
We smell really great!

Suggestion for next year's challenge:
Pour a pitcher of water.


Our Step List

Step 1 On the left side of the machine is positioned an air rocket powered Purple Viking Potato. The air rocket powered potato fires into a box target, located on the right side of the machine, it does this by soaring 14 feet directly across the machine. The air rocket launch device is initially pressurized to 10 psi of airpressure using a bicycle pump, and is activated by a team member who releases the pressure through a hand operated valve.

Step 2 A box target mounted on one end of a wooden lever moves about its fulcrum at the center of this lever. The end of the lever that is opposite the box target is designed to tap on a a golf ball This tap sends the golf ball in motion and down a series of 3 intersecting incline planes.

Step 3 The golf ball travels down the 3 intersecting inclines planes and collides with a bowling alley of 6 additional golf balls positioned on the final incline plane.

Step 4 The initial golf ball and bowling alley balls fall off the final incline plane and into a small bucket mounted on a friction controlled dynamically balanced elevator mechanism.

Step 5 The combined weight of the golf balls in the small bucket causes the bucket on the right side of the elevator to drop due to the increased weight/mass and the increased force of gravity acting upon it. The opposite/counterbalanced side of the elevator rises because the elevator mechanism is no longer balanced in mass/weight. The rate of accent/decent of the elevator is controlled by friction plates on the elevator guides that are built into the elevator's sliding mechanism. The two rising and subsequent falling elevator sides are connected by a string which is guided by three pulleys.

Step 6 The counterbalanced rising left side of the elevator has another golf ball, held in a small enclosure and sitting on a tiny ramp. This golf ball drops off the elevator platform when a door intersects a half tube ramp and flips the door open. This allows the golf ball to roll out of the enclosure and down a half round ramp where it knocks a potato off a platform at the bottom of the ramp.

Step 7 The bumped potato falls vertically down a tube and hits a lever at the bottom of the tube. This lever has on one end the fulcrum, at the other end the potato exerts the falling force, and a string attached in the middle is doing work. The lever rotates and pulls on the attached string. The opposite end of the string is attached to a plug in the end of a siphon tube. When the string is pulled by the lever it pulls the plug out of the siphon tube causing the siphon to start flowing. .

Step 8 The upper end/right side of the siphon is placed in a small highly elevated bucket. When the siphon plug is pulled free the flowing siphon it transfers the water into a lower bucket that is mounted on a balanced lever with the fulcrum in the middle. As the bucket fills with water, the lower bucket becomes heavier. Mounted under the bucket is a series of needles. The ever increasing weight of the water in the bucket increases the pressure being applied by the needles to a balloon positioned in a funnel directly under the needles. The balloon is filled with 6 ounces of tiny steel balls. As the weight increases the needles puncture the balloon.

Step 9 The balls from the punctured balloon fall through the funnel and into another lever mounted bucket. This bucket swings from its balance position due to the increased weight of the balls and hits a sledge hammer, The sledge hammer has an extended handle that is mounted on a low pivot.

Step 10 The 4.5 pound sledge hammer pivots on the end opposite the hammer head. The length of the hammer handle has been increased to 4.5 feet to increase the initial potential energy and the final delivered kinetic energy to the nail when struck. The tap from the bucket of balls sends the sledge hammer into motion swinging down towards a nail held in hammering positioned by a potato

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