Rube Goldberg Project

For your Semester 2 project, you will be building a Rube Goldberg machine -- a complicated device that takes many steps to do a simple task. During this project you will be meeting the following outcomes.  This project outline will describe some of the criteria for the project.

 

Purpose

You need to pick a task for your machine to accomplish and then get it approved by your teacher. The task is something like putting toothpaste on a brush, turning on a radio, making a milkshake, etc. You will then build a machine which has no fewer than 15 sequential, non-repeating steps to complete your chosen task.

 

Theme

You need to pick a theme for your project. This theme should be incorporated into as many parts of the machine and your Science Fair "show" as possible. You will also be judged on an artistic performance which can be any of the following: skit, play, song, costumes, poem, signs, props, or actions. The more of these items you incorporate, the higher your score will be.

 

Design

Your Rube Goldberg machine needs to include a minimum of 15 steps from start to finish. You must design it on paper and build it yourselves. When deciding on a size for your machine, make sure that you can transport it and/or get it into and out of the classroom or exhibit area.

 

Requirements

You need to use the following in your machine and to describe these things in detail in a written report (see below). Your machine needs to have a/an:

             object which follows a projectile path without touching or beign tied to anything. This object must start with some upward motion and it must start the next step.

             collision. One object collides with a different object to transfer momentum and continue the operation of the machine. The two objects should be different in mass.

             vertically-oriented loop. An object must travel in a looping motion. Therefore, it must have sufficient speed to complete a full vertical loop and continue to start the next step of the machine.

             lever (2nd or 3rd class). It must be used in the machine to lift something and labeled.

             moveable pulley which is used to lift something.

             electric circuit. This electric circuit must be closed or opened which results in the activation of the next step in the machine. The final step will not count as an electric circuit (eg. turn on blender).

 

Construction

Your machine should be constructed from materials that you get from home, family or friends. To be environmentally friendly, it will BE REQUIRED that all materials used to build the machine be recycled or recyclable. The total cost for your machine should be kept to a minimum. Any items that you do purchase for your machine must be recorded and PROVEN with receipts in your project report. You should plan to put the pieces together with nails, screws, brackets, wood glue, hot glue, or some other fasteners besides tape! In other words, the final product should be sturdy, transportable, and professional.

 

Operation

Your Rube Goldberg machine needs to be reliable. In other words, once you start the first step, the remaining steps should follow without any human intervention (needing to touch the machine). In addition, you should be able to reset the machine quickly for another run.

 

 

Schedule

The Rube Goldberg Machine Fair Day will be held on TUESDAY, MAY 26, 2009. Your machine needs to be in the gym and operational by TBA.Your written report will be due the day following the Fair Day. Beginning now, some class time will be devoted to working on your machines; however, you should be working on them at home also. Deadlines will be posted on the internet/NVS.

The PROJECT UPDATES are as follows: Update #1 - Sunday, April 26, Update #2 - Tuesday, May 12, and finally Update #3 on Thursday, Mat 21. The following links will take you to the forms atht you need to fill out and will list the requirements for each of the updates. This is the link for UPDATE #1, here for UPDATE #2, and here for UPDATE #3

 

Written Report

This is meant to be a formal report, so all the guidelines for normal reports apply-- word processed, correct grammar and spelling, clear organization, appropriate use of illustrations or diagrams. Please double space the report to make reading easier. Details for this report are at this following link.

Your written report will be due the day after the Rube Goldberg Machine Fair Day. A draft or outline of it will be due with Update #2 and Update #3. Essentially it is a written description of several science concepts as well as an explanation of your problem solving.

 

1.          First, keep track of one particularly hard problem that you had to solve. Use the problem solving steps (follow this link) to help you solve the problem. In the written report, you will be detailing how you solved one particular problem according to these steps.

2.          Second, one of the requirements is that your machine has a step where an object follows a projectile path without touching or being tied to anything. This object must start with some upward motion and it must start the next step. In the report you explain how you worked with speed, mass, acceleration, ramps, steepness, angles, force, etc. in order to make this step work. In other words, what things affect the projectile motion.

3.          Third, your machine must have a collision. One object collides with a different object to transfer momentum and continue the operation of the machine. The two objects should be different in mass. In the report, you will explain how you adjusted masses and speeds in the collision so that it would work properly. In other words, if you had a problem with it working, what did you change to make it work.

4.          Fouth, your machine must contain a vertically-oriented loop. An object must travel in a looping motion. Therefore, it must have sufficient speed to complete a full vertical loop and continue on to start the next step of the machine. In the report, you explain kinetic and potential energy at various points in the looping section (as object starts to move, enters loop, top of loop, bottom of loop, and at end of motion). You should also explain how you designed the loop and why.

5.          Fifth, your machine must contain a lever (2nd or 3rd class). It must be used in the machine to lift something and labeled. In the report, draw the lever and describe that step.

6.          Sixth, your machine must contain a moveable pulley which is used to lift something. In the report, draw the moveable pulley and describe the step.

7.          Seventh, your machine must contain an electric circuit. This electric circuit must be closed or opened which results in the activation of the next step in the machine. The final step will not count as an electric circuit (eg. turn on blender).

8.          Eighth: You MUST include a COST ANALYSIS in your report. Al items that are used to construct and build the machine must be listed as well as a COST of each item. Any purchased items must have receipts attached to the Cost Analysis

 

Grading

You will be evaluated for your designs, work habit, group function, meeting deadlines, and self and peer evaluations (in-class). The machine will be evaluated on May 26 according to this rubric. The evaluation of your machine and your written report will count for 20% of your semester grade.


 

Rules

Your machine must not break any of the following rules.

             The machine must complete the task as described in the challenge.

             The machine must be no larger than 1.5 m wide x 1.5 m long x 2 m high.

             The machine must have a minimum of fifteen (15) steps. There is no maximum number of steps.

             The machine must run for no more than two (2) minutes per run.

             Teams will have two (2) minutes before the first run to explain their machine.

             The machine will have a maximum twenty (20) minute reset time.

             No corporate logos or names may be displayed on the machines.

             No live animals may be used in the machine.

             The machine must not imply profane, indecent or lewd expressions.

             Any loose or flying objects must remain within the set boundaries of the machine. This includes, but is not limited to, drops of water, slivers of balloon, and other small objects. Steam and other gasses are exempt from this rule.

             The machine may utilize one (1) air compressor hose and one (1) power cord. No other cords may be run to or from the machine; however there is no limit to the number of hoses and cords utilized within the space of the machine.

             No flames may be used on or within the machine. Electrical arching may be used upon approval of the contest Chairman.

             No hazardous materials or explosives can be used on or within the machine.

             The machine must be safe to the satisfaction of the teacher officials. Your teacher must approve any questionable items prior to competition.

             Any destructive action against another machine is grounds for disqualification.

             All materials must be removed from the ASD premises after the competition.