Eden Hall Upper Elementary
Gibsonia, PA, USA

Online Contest:
Inflate A Balloon and Pop It!
Online Division I - Ages 11 - 14 (Middle School)
Team Leader: Mrs. E. Gilson
Team Members: 9
Invitations: 0

What we're studying:
Physical Science

Our Team Leader's favorite quote:
Don't bump the table!

Why we think we should win:
We believe that SACK 5's Kitchen Contraption should win the Rube Goldberg Contest because it took lots of SACK 5 collaboration and combined effort to make this machine work. Every time, we had to reset the machine to make a perfectly smooth run and the dominoes and pie server to work in their correct way. It was hard work, and for that reason we're glad that there was this particular group of people working on the project. Also, everybody contributed to the project. Lilya, as the announcer, had a very important job, as did Ryan, who set the machine going. Rishi helped Mr. Clack videotape, Lauren and Abby helped by experimenting with the baking soda, vinegar, and balloons, and Parker, Kevin, Sophia, and Devin helped set up all the dominoes again. And let's not forget, this would never have happened without our GATE teacher, Mrs. Gilson, who found out about the whole Rube Goldberg contest, entered us all, and guided us along the way. This also took time out of our school days to work on our machine. Once, we were working on the machine for three hours! Out of our machine, you may see creativity and a smooth flow of the task, but if you understand straight, you will find friendships, cooperation, problem solving skills and good, solid teamwork.


Hello form SACK 5. We are a small group of 5th grade gifted students interested in science. SACK stands for Science Adventures for Cool Kids.

Our Step List

SACK 5’s Kitchen Contraption
1. The handle is twisted on a gum-ball dispenser that is sitting on cookbooks atop a kitchen stool.
2. Turning the handle releases a gum-ball that spirals downward and through the machine ejecting the gum-ball at the bottom.
3. The freed gum-ball rolls onto a subtly slanted stalk of celery.
4. Traveling the length of the celery, the gum-ball drops into a roll of shelf-liner and plunges downward. The shelf-liner is propped up by a roll of paper towels sitting on a stack of cookbooks.
5. Exiting the roll of shelf-liner, the gum-ball forcefully enters a large plastic cup that is balanced precariously on the handle of a kitchen spoon.
6. The weight of the gum-ball makes the plastic cup wobble and topple over.
7. As the cup falls, it makes contact with a Cutie orange perilously balanced on a pull-tab from an aluminum can.
8. The Cutie orange is nudged forward onto a plastic track shored up by a dish drainer where it speeds down a slope and around a banked curve.
9. The Cutie orange leaves the end of the track hitting the first in a long line of Swiss cheese slices. Lurking in the shadows is a rat ready to snatch a slice of cheese.
10. When the first piece of Swiss cheese falls, it begins a chain reaction toppling over each consecutive slice of cheese until the last slice falls. Attached to the last slice of Swiss cheese is a coffee stirrer.
11. The falling slice of cheese with the protruding coffee stirrer trips a mousetrap.
12. Connected to the mousetrap catch bar, is a string with a binder clip tied to the end. The string/binder clip is threaded through a hole in a mixing spoon.
13. The mixing spoon is anchored by 2 slices of bread.
14. Also anchored in the same bread is a small plastic water bottle slightly filled with baking soda. Attached to the neck of the bottle is vinegar filled balloon.
15. After threading through the hole in the mixing spoon, the binder clip pinches the end of the vinegar filled balloon.
16. As the trap is tripped, the catch bar snaps down tugging the string forward and the vinegar filled balloon upward allowing the vinegar to drain into the bottle blending with the baking soda. The carbon dioxide that forms inflates the balloon.
17. Meanwhile, as the line of Swiss cheese slices was falling, one of the pieces of Swiss cheese knocked over the first piece of a serpentine line of Cheddar cheese slices causing the Cheddar cheese to begin to topple also.
18. Supported by the last slice of the Cheddar cheese is a pie lifter with a pin attached to the tip.
19. When the last slice of cheese falls, the pie lifter is freed to fall onto the inflated balloon and pops it.

Our Close-ups: Photos

Our Close-ups: Favorite Step

Our Close-ups: Task Completion

Our Machine Explaination and Walkthrough

Our Machine Run Videos