East Middle School
Westminster , MD, USA

Online Contest:
Hammer A Nail
Online Division I - Ages 11 - 14 (Middle School)
Team Leader: Mr. Doxzon, Mr. Disharoon and Mr. Evans
Team Members: 26
Invitations: 0

What we're studying:
Engineering, Problem Solving, Art, Mathematics, World History, STEM

Our Team Leader's favorite quote:
"The end is nothing; the road is all"

Why we think we should win:
We have heart! It takes a special group of people (26 in fact) to avoid permanently damaging each other during our "build" and so far we all have our appendages (knock on wood).

As a teacher it can be rare to see such enthusiasm and perseverance in your students and I am fortunate to have such a wonderful group of dedicated students who showed up each week, worked hard and had a blast in the process.

Oh and finally, we have so many different elements in the machine that came from painstaking design, tests and redesigns. Our machine is not only COOL, it's got a pooping Bulldog. Now that's funny.

Suggestion for next year's challenge:
Automatic Dog Feeder

Favorite Rube Goldberg video:

At East Middle School, we take our school culture very seriously. Last year for the MSA (Maryland State Assessments) we wrote a rap song to help our students stay focused and motivated so they could "nail" the test.

We were equally fired up about the opportunity to "nail" this challenge and couldn't wait for a chance to prove ourselves again in a different way. This is our first Rube Goldberg Machine.

We hope you enjoy our work!

Our Step List

“It’s Hammer Time!”

1. Feed the first marble into the bulldog’s mouth.
2. First marble rolls out of the bulldog’s rear end into a small clear plastic bottle and onto the first ramp.
3. First marble rolls side to side down a progression of ramps (9) total.
4. First marble knocks a fishing weight with line tied to it off the edge.
5. String attached to weight pulls trap door attached holding another fishing weight.
6. Weight falls into a cup that is attached to a string and a pulley.
7. Cup is pulled down while a pen cap with a long dowel rod is forced upwards.
8. Dowel rod hits left side of first seesaw pushing it upwards.
9. Right side of seesaw is pushed downwards hitting the left side of the second seesaw.
10. Right side of second seesaw is pushed upwards knocking a golf ball off a golf tee.
11. Golf ball crashes into second marble in chute and goes into l-shaped PVC pipe and into the Japanese, pachinko-style machine.
12. Second marble rolls through the pachinko machine and hits ramp at the bottom.
13. Second marble continues down ramp and crashes into dominoes knocking them over.
14. Dominoes topple over forcing third marble into a water bottle that leads into a colored block tower.
15. Third marble rolls out of the blocks onto a series of wooden ramps.
16. Third marble crashes into block tower and continues down wooden ramps.
17. Third marble hits wooden shoe stop forcing it to topple to the left.
18. Wooden shoe forces dowel rod connecting it and a wooden pole to fall out.
19. Wood pole lever moves left pulling a string connected to Batman on the first zip line.
20. String connected to zip line releases Batman action figure on pulley.
21. Batman figure on pulley zips down the zip line and crashes into the first zip line tower.
22. Crash into tower sets off the Hulk action figure on another pulley.
23. Hulk action figure crashes into plastic whirly ramps triggering a fourth marble.
24. Fourth marble winds down plastic chute tripping the wooden lever arm at the bottom.
25. Wooden lever arm taps the on switch on Thomas the Train Tank engine activating the battery.
26. Thomas the Train activates and moves along the train tracks.
27. Thomas the Train crashes into the wooden railway switch connected to mouse trap.
28. Mouse trap springs pulling wooden dowel rod out from under the hammer.
29. Hammer falls hammering a nail into a cylinder (confetti cannon) containing a long balloon and confetti.
30. Nail pops balloon, blowing confetti out of the end of the confetti cannon.
31. Thomas the Train continues along the track until reaching a matchbox car with a Bulldog Sign.
32. Matchbox car with Bulldog sign is pushed down a ramp and crashes into a pyramid of specimen cups.

The End

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