Team # 332: We Missed the Snow TEAM PAGE

Mill Valley Middle School
Mill Valley, CA, United States

Online Contest:
Open An Umbrella
Online Division I - Ages 11 - 14 (Middle School)
Team Leader: Sarah Petrini
Team Members: 10
Invitations: 0

What we're studying:
We are a part of Mill Valley Middle School's Technology and Engineering program. Originally, the entire class, inspired by Rube Goldberg's legacy, decided to all make machines in order to study both simple machines and energy transfer. Two groups were selected to combine our two individual machines into one fluid machine with a common theme. While the other portion of the class moves towards computer code we are excited for the opportunity to continue investigating simple machines and energy transfer.

Our Team Leader's favorite quote:
"Nothing is a waste of time if you learn from it!"
-Ms. Petrini

Why we think we should win:
We represent a large public school with limited materials and tools. With what we had, we cobbled together a machine which we think truly embodies the spirit of Rube Goldberg. We have worked at this for a while and have been devoting much of our free time at home and at school to this machine. It has accumulated over 20 hours of each of our time in the past 3 weeks alone. We hope you consider us!

Suggestion for next year's challenge:
We believe that next year's challenge should be "Make and butter toast"

Favorite Rube Goldberg video:

Our machine is a winter-themed contraption made of mainly wood as well as various household items such as an RC car, drills, tongs, glue sticks, golf balls, and coat hangers. We used a pegboard base on multiple levels in order to make a terraced machine. Our machine starts on a vertical piece of wood and moves on to a horizontal pegboard. Afterwards the machine again transitions to vertical orientation before ending on the final horizontal pegboard. We decided on pegboard for the ease of mounting and moving various steps. This was all built in a roughly 8x9 storage closet available at our school.

Our Step List


1. Ski lift brings marble to start
2. marble is released
3. marble hits spool of thread
4. spool of thread hits glue stick
5. glue stick hits marble
6. marble rolls down screw incline plane and into applesauce cup
7. applesauce cup falls down and releases tongs
8. tongs swing
9. Golf ball rolls and falls into cup
10. cup/lever triggers pulley and lifts up cupcake holder
11. golf ball rolls down incline plane
12. prop falls out from below lever
13. without support, the lever falls down, dumping marble into tube
14. marble rolls down tube and hits a piece of wood
15. piece of wood falls down
16. Popsicle stick falls
17. golf ball rolls down incline plane
18. magnet falls off pulling on string
19. string takes peg out from in front of golf ball
20. causing golf ball to roll down incline plane
21. golf ball hits a larger ball off of the edge
22. pulling line of beads behind it
23. pulling a lever
24. pushing a golf ball off and pulling string
25. pulling a hat up off of a marble
26. releasing marble down multiple incline planes
27. hitting a paint tube
28. making a popsicle stick fall
29. releasing a golf ball down an incline plane
30. and hits a paint tube
31. which falls down bringing a stack of popsicle sticks with it
32. releasing a ball which rolls down an incline plane
33. hitting a piece of wood which falls out from under a weighted lever (on a hinge)
34. which makes weighted lever fall down
35. releasing a fake tree that falls (shout out to Rebecca for the homemade stuff)
36. hitting a lever and pulling a string
37. which makes a barrier fall out from in front of a lacrosse ball
38. making it hit a horizontal lever
39. which hits another vertical level and pulls out a string
40. pulling a peg out
41. making a lever twist
42. letting a jar fall down
43. pulling down on the car remote control
44. making an RC car drive and fall off the edge of the table
45. which opens the umbrella!!!

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