March 2019 archive

Rube Goldberg #6: Final Reflection

My overall experience designing a Rube Goldberg machine is that at first, I thought it would be easy but suddenly when we started, it became hard. Some steps of the project were no problem to complete and other steps were challenging. For example, we struggled with step five which we named tower of terror. This step included a pulley system that Stella and I created. We cut a plastic water bottle in half and used rocks to create weight for the release mechanism. The water bottle was tied to a piece of string and we spent two of our sessions trying to figure out how to hold the string down. We started with several weights of toy cars and then we moved on to a tennis ball but did not work either. So we finally replaced tennis ball with three magnet tiles. This took hours of trial to come up with a successful solution. Stella and I were literally jumping up and down.


I learned from working on the Rube Goldberg project that sometimes you may get frustrated but it is important to be patient and have a positive attitude to get through it. I also learned working with a partner you need to have a open mind to other people’s ideas. It was more fun to put our ideas together. I really enjoyed working with Stella on this project and I was happy I did not have to work on my own.

This my Rube Goldberg Project:

Step 1: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train


Step 2: Thunder Mountain

Step 3: Splash Mountain

Step 4: Dominos

Step 5: Tower of Terror

Step 6: Fairytale Forest

Step 7: Donald Duck Pond

Step 8: Tea cups

Step 9: Releasing the Balloon

List of Resources:

Rube Goldberg #5: The Sketch


Making a Sketch of our Rube Goldberg machine was fun. Stella and I were very excited about our theme and creating a Disney Rube Goldberg project. We purchased a blue poster board and Mickey Mouse decorated tape. Then we used black construction paper and and cut out Mickey Mouse ears. Next, we used red letter stickers to label our project. This was going to be the backdrop of our sketch.


Following the layout of our backdrop we discussed how we wanted to draw out our machine. We drew out each step as best as possible and then made a key with numbers naming each step. We named each step based on different Disney rides. Except for one we just labeled dominos.


A few of the steps we drew larger to help the viewer understand the machine better. Having these sketches were helpful when we went to actually build each step. Not every step worked out exact to our sketch but was somewhat close.


After decorating and sketching our Rube Goldberg board created a goal which was to release balloons and labeled this on our board. Just like a book has a picture of a author, Stella and I included a picture of us.

Rube Goldberg #4: Testing the Design

Stella and I have been working and testing our Rube Goldberg project for the past five weeks. Within the past weeks we have had some success and some failures. Working on this project has been challenging.


Testing the machine has been interesting, sometimes what you think will work doesn’t actually work. For example, when Stella and I choose to do a rubber duck traveling across water, it got too hard. We decided that we would put rubber duck on a car and make it go down a track.


Some parts of the project have been frustrating. For example, When we were doing the pulley which we based on the ride Tower of Terror, we had some difficulties deciding what would hold the string of the pulley. We choose to use a car but we had to finds a car that was light enough for the dominos to push and to hold the string.


Stella and I have made some revisions to our machine. Some changes we made include switching a tennis ball with a cut open water bottle. Another change we made was to use a car and a track instead of water and rubber duck.


A big insight moment was when Stella and I were making the pulley the car was not moving. We replaced the car with magnet tiles. The magnet tiles were easier for the dominos to move because it was lighter than the car and the magnet tile was shaped the same as the domino.

In conclusion, I have learned from this experience that your ideas sometimes might not work. However, I have also learned to be patient and open minded to other ideas that can be possible solutions. If something does not work the first time than try and try again.