During my first meetings with Eli, we faced many problems. We couldn’t find a way to use the wheel and we couldn’t find a way to stop the Thomas train from moving on to the track.
When I was looking for things I could use in my Rube Goldberg project after our first meeting, I found a wheel. I had seen it in a few videos and wondered how we could incorporate it into our project. The next time Eli came to my house I showed him the wheel and he also wanted to use it. In the videos some people had a wheel on a table and had something heavy fall off the table. Every time they had a string attached to the heavy object and the wheel, so that when the heavy object would fall off the table it would spin the wheel. They then had different steps after the spinning.
The problem was that we already figured out what we were going to do on the table so we had to think of how to use the wheel on the ground. I thought if a heavy ball would roll down the ramp and gain some speed with a string attached to it it could spin the wheel. We tried it and it was way too hard to have the ball stay on the ramp .The heavy ball didn’t work. We looked in our bags of equipment for something that would stay on the track. I saw a hot rod but it was to light. Finally, we saw a train just lying on the floor. It was perfect and it fit all of our needs! We tested it and it was a SUCCESS! When the wheel spins it pulls out a popsicle stick which starts a chain reaction.
The other problem we faced was that we needed to find a way to have the battery operated Thomas train on when we started the Rube Goldberg, but we needed to keep it from moving until we reached that step. Our first idea was the same as the Anki Overdrive, to have the train hanging off the end of the track and have a domino push it onto the track. The train was too strong so it plowed its way onto the track. Eli thought that we could have something blocking the train. I thought it sounded good, so we decided to try to find a way to use magna tiles to block the train. At first we couldn’t think of an idea so we decided to work on other things and come back to this problem. One night before I went to bed I thought of an idea. I thought we could have a big marble attached to a string fall from a table and could pull the magna tiles away. It worked! We were excited that we could work through these problems.
Today was my first meeting with Eli! It was awesome! We had a lot of equipment and ideas, but we needed to meet to put them together.
The first thing we did was brainstorm ideas and then we got to work. The machine starts in the shower and our original plan was to have a pitcher fill with water and then pour out onto a car to make it move. After our first try we realized it’s a lot easier just to have the pitcher hit the shower door and then the shower door will knock down a lot of Wii disc holders which then hit dominos and then push the Anki overdrive car onto the track. The car has its own power so it can drive up a track. We tried this many times and found a way to make it all work.
Next Eli and I both wanted to find a way to get our project on the table. This was our biggest problem because we had to find a way to get everything high enough. We tried many different ideas such as stacking magna-tiles with dominos on top of them and using a board to have a car drive up to the table, but it was too steep. Finally we got the idea of using a remote control robot that we could have on the table with the controller on the ground. Our first idea was to have a ball hit the controller to start the robot. We were so excited but then we realized it’s not so easy to get the ball to hit the remote in the right spot. We also realized that the robot was too far away from the remote so we had to move the tables closer and have the robot climb up a pool table to get on the final table. In the beginning we had a huge pool ball rolling through a big tube but we couldn’t find a consistent enough way for the ball to get pushed into the tube and still hit the remote. Next we had the idea that was simpler. We thought the Anki Overdrive car could hit a ball that was touching the remote to start the robot. We needed a brick behind the remote to keep it from moving. After a couple tries we realized it was very successful.
Once we got onto the big table we realize that we had many options and they could all be really cool with a lot of speed involved. We decided to use a hot rod track that starts on the table and goes all the way to the ground. It was very steep so the car went down very fast. We attempted to add a loop de loop with some of the equipment, but it did not work. We couldn’t find a way to keep it under control.
It was awesome session, but then Eli’s dad came to pick him up. We realized that we had been working for six hours straight without many breaks. I think we didn’t notice the time because we were having so much fun with the project. We showed our parents quickly what we had worked on and then he left. It was a productive day!
Working with Eli is a ton of fun because we were very close friends and the project is awesome. The best parts about working with Eli are that he is really interested in the project, he works hard, he and I can work through our disagreements and we always fun together.
Eli has a lot of great ideas that I don’t always think are going to work very well but we try them and they’re successful. The same thing goes when I have an idea and Eli doesn’t really think it’s the best. He lets me try. When we are creating new steps in our project we both have the same mindset. We want to build a really good project and have interesting steps in the middle. Eli is also really good to work with because he is thinking of things we can use in his own time. Before our first meeting, both of us did research and collected materials. That helped us start building right away. Eli and I don’t have a lot of time to work together so that means we have to be productive in the time we have. We both like funny steps and like to laugh at our fails. When I started working with Eli I knew that we were going to have a lot of fun and work well with each other.