Wolverine Mathletics Association TEAM PAGE

Wissahickon Middle School
Ambler, PA, USA

Online Contest:
Inflate A Balloon and Pop It!
Online Division I - Ages 11 - 14 (Middle School)
Team Leader: Mrs. Ketty Kaminsky
Team Members: 4
Invitations: 0

What we're studying:
Physical Science

Our Team Leader's favorite quote:
"There is no substitute for hard work."

Why we think we should win:
We spent 3 months designing, building, testing and improving our machine after school and on weekends. Since our design was all student generated, we ran into many obstacles. After 101 test films, we achieved our goal. All 4 members of our team put our ingenuity, creativity and hard work into this project. We built the machine from typical household objects, and made them work to fulfill the challenge. Besides, it's a HORROR theme, and who doesn't like HALLOWEEN!

Suggestion for next year's challenge:
Hit a golf ball with a golf club.
Tie a shoe.

Favorite Rube Goldberg video:

Greetings, and welcome to the Wolverine Mathletics Association's Rube Goldberg machine, 2012, HORROR EDITION!

Our Step List

1. Hand is pulled through pulley, pulling other hand balanced on top of hammer.
2. Hammer is pulled down onto lever, pushing down on one end.
3. Lever is lifted on the other end, pulling two separate strings.
4. First string will pull up on the bottom of a cut in half water bottle which is taped to the edge of a funnel. It has a slit at the bottom for marbles to escape when the cup is lifted.
5. Marbles roll down a ramp into a soda bottle, which is also cut in half. Thick paper in curled into the back of it creates a barrier at the back. The marbles roll down the ramp and bounce off the paper going into the bottle. Weight of marbles allows pulley attached to bottle to lift up a spoon above the bottle.
6. Spoon is lifted, sending a big marble suspended behind its tip at set up to move down a long ramp and through a tube towards the mouse trap catapult.
7. Mouse trap is set off by weight of marble, propelling a golf ball eye across a spiderweb made of thick poster board and through a bed of nails embedded in the board.
8. Zip line cup is suspended by a small piece of tape underneath the hole where golf ball falls through. The weight of the golf ball falling into the cup releases the tape, send the cup hurtling down a wire zip line connecting two tables.
9. A row of dominoes are set up on a wooden bar on the side of the table. When the zip line cup pushes on the first domino, it sets off the entire row. The last domino is actually two dominoes fused together with tape. This is connected by string to a platform made of thick poster board above. When this domino is set off, it is not parallel to the other dominoes but rather at an angle, which lets it fall off the wooden bar when set off. The weight of this domino tugs at the edge of the platform, causing it to bend.
10. The weight, which is made up of small toy magnets taped together for reinforcement, slides off the platform when the big domino tugs at the platform. The weight is connected by a thin rope to a balloon, which is filled with 8 tablespoons of baking soda.
11. The balloon is set up tilting over the mouth of the bottle underneath, to avoid a reaction starting prematurely. The bottle is filled with vinegar about half way. When the weight falls off the platform, it tugs on a pulley which is connected to the tip of the balloon. This causes the balloon to stand upright, sending the baking soda inside it exit the balloon into the bottle. This starts a neutralization reaction between the baking soda and vinegar, which creates carbon dioxide gas. The gas moves into the balloon, causing it to inflate.
12. As the balloon expands, it pushes on three firmly fixed iron rods. These rods have many sewing needles taped to the ends of them. The 30+ sewing needles burrow their way into the balloon as it expands. When the expansion gets too big, some of the needles puncture the balloon, causing it to pop. Here the machine's work is done.
Extra step: The second string from the lever is connected to a toy bat across the room. When the lever is lifted, the bat falls off the table it is set up on. The bat is also connected to a bell. When the bat falls off, it rings the bell, for extra sound effects.

Our Close-ups: Photos

Our Close-ups: Favorite Step

Our Close-ups: Task Completion

Our Machine Explaination and Walkthrough

Our Machine Run Videos