6th Grade Tech – Post #5

Mr. Calvert has assigned a new project. We’re supposed to make three different light switches, mostly made out of cardboard and tin foil. After we finish making these switches, we are going to play a game with them.

The game is called the “Self-Driving Car.” The only other thing that you need to play the game is a deck of playing cards. This is how to set it up: first, you have to divide the deck into two, the cards face-down. Then, you arrange the three switches in a horizontal line facing you. After that, you are all set to play.

This is how you play: first, you flip the first card of each half of the deck over. If the card on the left is red, and if the card on the right is black, then you turn on the switch on the left. If the card on the right is red, and the one on the left is black, then you turn on the switch on the right. Lastly, if both of the cards are red, then you turn on the switch in the middle. The goal is to test how fast you can operate it, without making any mistakes.

Tin foil is conductive, so the switch works by having one piece of it connected to a wire with positive charges and another piece connected to a wire with negative charges. Those wires are connected to the LED light, so when the two pieces of tin foil touch, it’ll make the light turn on. Our switches are due this Friday. I already finished all of them, luckily. Here are some pictures of my switches and me working on them…

 

Rube Goldberg – Post #5

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…

Video #1

Video #2

Video #3

Video #4