This week I made my final video! I think I did much better than last time because of how I fixed the things that didn’t come out so well. Here it is:
This week, I filmed my first video! I used one of my brother’s ninja turtle legos that I found in one of his bins. I also got very lucky because my brother just had a birthday party and in the goody bag, he got some chocolate soccer balls. I figured they’d be the perfect size for the lego ninja turtle, so I asked my brother if I could use one of them for my first attempt. I used blue tac that I brought home from camp this summer to keep the soccer ball and the ninja turtle in place while taking pictures. As well as finding the ninja turtle in one of my brother’s bins, I found a mini soccer goal that I used one year for my birthday cake. It was also the perfect size. I came up with the idea of using confetti once the ninja turtle scores, so my mom said that I could hole punch red paper. For the field, I printed out a picture of grass and I also printed the word “GOAL” to add as graphics when the turtle scores.
About the app, I really enjoy using it because it’s not complicated at all. It’s very easy to use. It keeps all of your pictures in order and plays them all together to make a video.
Before making my first video, I watched some tutorials online that gave great tips. Here are some links:
After making a couple of videos, I learned some things that I could do differently for my final product. One: at the end of my second video, I accidentally moved the iPad, which messed up the angle of the next pictures. Next time, I’ll attach the iPad to the table by using blue tac, so the frame won’t move while taking pictures. Two: at the part when the figure scores, and I make confetti fall down, it was too far away from the camera, so my mom, (who helped me by taking the picture), wasn’t able to capture the confetti in the air. Next time, I’ll make sure to drop the confetti right in front of the camera. Three: I didn’t take multiple pictures of the goal sign, and I didn’t fix the posture of the figure right after kicking the ball. Next time, I’ll take at least three pictures of the goal sign, so it doesn’t disappear so quickly and I’ll also make sure to move the figure’s leg back to its regular position after kicking the ball. Finally, the fourth thing that I need to improve is making sure that in the video it looks like the ball rolls instead of just moving forward. I’ll need to rotate it a little each time and not just move it further down.
Here is my second product (the first one was an even simpler version just to try out the app):
Yesterday we made our pitch slideshow. We had to answer four questions.
1. What will you learn and make?
I will learn how to make a stop motion video. It will be a video of an action figure kicking a soccer ball and scoring a goal.
2. Why do you want to learn and make this?
I want to learn and make this because when I was about eight, my friend made a stop motion video and I’ve always wanted to try and make one, but I never got the chance to. It’s amazing how a lot of pictures put together can make a film.
3. How will you learn and make this?
I will learn and make this by using the proper tools, like a stand, camera, etc. I will also watch videos online, as well as contacting people who are experts.
4. What will success look like to you?
Being able to do something that I’ve always wanted to do and doing it well will look like success to me.
Mr. Turner assigned us a passion project. A passion project is one that is related to something that we are interested in and it can be anything. We are supposed to present to the class once we finish it. The project will last for five weeks. This past week was the first one, so we all had to choose our passion.
In school, Mr. Turner gave us a brainstorming sheet. We wrote down the things that we like, what we’re good at, what we wonder about, etc. After seeing a couple of examples of what students in the past have done, I got an idea.
I’ve thought how cool stop motion is and have wanted to make a video since I was about eight years old, after I saw one that a friend of mine made at a workshop. So I thought to myself that maybe I could do that for my project.
After more thinking, I narrowed down to three choices: making kind of like a sculpture out of recycled materials, doing a freestyle soccer trick, or making a stop motion video. I finally chose what I’m going to do. I decided to make a stop motion video of an action figure kicking a soccer ball and scoring a goal, but I don’t know what materials I’m going to use yet. Maybe I could make the action figure out of recycled materials, so then I have a little bit of my other choice as well.
Today at school, my class and Ms. Boyer’s class switched rooms for a quick lesson. Ms. Boyer taught science and Ms. Robert taught math.
For the lesson, we did some experimenting with colored sugar and three liquids. We conducted three experiments. For each one, we combined colored sugar with either vinegar, oil, or water. Before the experiments, we made a hypothesis for each one. A hypothesis is the “science version” of an educated guess, kind of like an estimation. My group got to do only two experiments because we ran out of time. We chose to combine colored sugar with vinegar first and then oil. In both the experiments, my group’s hypothesis was confirmed!
For our first experiment, our hypothesis was, “If you combine one teaspoon of colored sugar and twenty-five milliliters of vinegar, then the vinegar will dissolve the sugar and it’ll turn green because of the vinegar’s acidity.” When we conducted the experiment, that’s what happened. The vinegar dissolved the sugar and turned green, which shows that our hypothesis was right. One thing my group noticed, though, was that it took a lot of mixing for the sugar to dissolve completely.
In our second experiment, our hypothesis was, “If we combine one teaspoon of colored sugar and twenty-five milliliters of oil, then the oil will reject the sugar because sugar and water mix and oil rejects water.” And again, when we conducted the experiment, that’s what happened. The oil rejected the sugar and the oil also turned green when the sugar was combined. One thing that my group noticed was that the sugar sank to the bottom because it was denser than the oil.
I thought that conducting these experiments was very fun because whenever my group made a hypothesis, I really wanted to see how the experiment would turn out and whether we would be right. I hope we have another lesson of MESSY SCIENCE!
This is my last Rube Goldberg post. Overall, I really enjoyed this project! The two things that I liked the most were testing out our machine and making the final video. I thought that testing out our machine was really fun because it was cool to watch it at work and to try to figure out what changes to make to failed attempts which would then lead to a successful one. Making the video was also fun because we got to experiment with a bunch of different features. Nick and I chose a very cool piece of music that we wanted and used the fading in and out feature which Mr. Casal taught us how to use in WeVideo last year.
I learned a lot from this project. One thing I learned were the different ways different objects react to something hitting them. Sometimes objects reacted in a way that I didn’t expect. For example, at first I didn’t expect a domino to knock down a cassette, but I realized that it was because the domino hit it at the top. If that domino hit the cassette at the bottom, it wouldn’t have knocked it down. Another thing I learned is that making small changes to the machine can make a huge difference. Maybe the most important thing I learned is that you have to be very patient to make a Rube Goldberg because it can take you A LOT of attempts to make it be successful. And trust me, sometimes you’ll get REALLY FRUSTRATED. Especially when you’re building a row of dominoes and then, all of a sudden, one of them falls, which causes ALL the rest to fall too. I suggest you test out the machine by parts. That’s what Nick and I did and it helped us out a lot. I think it was the reason the machine was successful on the second try. If you test out every part and change it until it’s perfect, then when you test your entire machine it’ll probably work in one of the first few attempts.
Here is an “Instagram Post” that I made in Adobe Spark about my Rube Goldberg video on Mrs. Robert’s YouTube channel…
On Sunday, Nick and I finished building and recording our entire machine. It has 17 steps. We got a successful run on our SECOND try! It was awesome. When we just started working that day we replaced some steps. For example, we replaced the marble and cardboard tubes with a labyrinth and wooden maze that the marble goes through because we realized that taping the cardboard tubes to the wall wouldn’t work because the tape wouldn’t be strong enough to keep the tubes on the wall. We also took out the soda can and the two cars and swinging bar step. We replaced that because we realized that the swinging bar that gets pushed by the first car wasn’t strong enough to give the second car a good push. Also, we decided to replace the car hitting the books because every time it did, the book would fall backwards because the car was hitting it on the bottom. A final step we replaced was the books at the end that push the soccer ball into the goal. We replaced that because we wanted to get to put in a cool domino part with one domino going on a loop-the-loop and other dominoes on this little thing that has like a wave shape. We really like the dominoes falling.
We also made an important change to the phone step. When the phone received the call from the computer, the word “Mami” appeared on the screen (which is mom in Spanish), so we thought it would be funny to change the name of the caller to “Rube Goldberg”. My dad was there filming and had the idea of putting voiceover when the computer calls so that the people watching our video will hear what’s on the phone’s screen.
When we finished building our machine, my heart was racing. I was so excited and at the same time nervous. Would we get it to work? How many tries would it take? It didn’t work on the first try, but it got pretty far. Nick and I were SUPER frustrated because it was two steps away from working all the way! The step that failed were the mini dominoes hitting the bigger ones. The mini dominoes weren’t strong enough to knock down the bigger dominoes so we figured we had to replace them with the bigger ones. We made that change and… IT WORKED. We couldn’t believe it worked on the SECOND attempt. Nick and I were celebrating like crazy!
This is my 5th Rube Goldberg post. Nick and I have started building our machine this week. We tested some parts and found that it’s very challenging to get things to work. We have been working very hard and have had a lot of failures. Sometimes when we were setting up the dominoes, one domino would accidentally fall and knock down ALL the rest which was REALLY frustrating! Other times, the dominoes would be too close to each other, so when we started the machine they wouldn’t fall the way we want them to and that attempt would fail. We realized the dominoes have to be placed about 3/4 of an inch apart from each other to fall the right way. We also think we might need to replace the cardboard tubes that go taped to the wall with something more stable, or replace that step for something else.
Next time we meet, on Saturday, we will continue working on the step with the computer calling the phone and try to finish the design and start filming the entire machine at work. Last time we tried the phone step, the ramp was either too steep or not steep enough. The phone either would get stuck and not move down when called or slide down right away when we put it on the ramp. I hope we get a successful run this weekend. We really want to finish it!
Here are a few videos…
Yesterday in class, we had a sketch museum. We rotated around the classroom looking at other groups’ sketches and writing on post-its what we think they can work on and what we really liked about them. I really enjoyed seeing other people’s work. A lot of people had at least one simple machine in their sketch. Most people used an inclined plane. Inclined planes are probably the easiest simple machine to use in a Rube Goldberg, so that’s probably why a lot of groups are using it. I also saw that most of the groups used dominoes. Maybe it’s because dominoes falling is a pretty cool effect. They fall fast and make a kind of original sound.
I saw one sketch that had a step similar to one of ours, which is probably our most complicated step. That step is to make a computer call a phone by making something hit the enter button on the computer. The phone’s vibration makes it slide down a mini ramp and knock down dominoes which then set off something else. The other group’s Rube Goldberg starts out by them calling a phone which vibrates down a ramp and sets off something else. I thought the sketch museum was great and I really want to see how everyone’s machines turn out.
At this point, Nick and I are done with our sketch. When we got together outside of school, we exchanged ideas on what we thought could be fun steps to add, and then we chose the best ones to add to the final sketch. One of the hardest ones is getting the computer to call Nick’s phone to make it vibrate. Nick actually tried a cool new way to do it and it worked, so we’re probably going to do that! I guess that when we start building the machine, it’s likely that we’re going to make more changes like that. I think that maybe new ideas will come to us or that we’ll have to make changes because some of the steps that we put in the sketch may not work.
Here is my sketch…
Nick has been a really good partner. He is excited about the project, like me, and contributes good ideas. We tend to agree on most things and if we don’t, it’s something minor. I really feel good about working with a partner because if one of us is having trouble figuring something out, the other can help. Working with a partner can be hard if you are constantly disagreeing, or if one ends up having to do most of the work and gets frustrated, but that’s not the case here.