Students in Stacey Wink’s Science 7 class have been testing their knowledge of different energy forms, transfers and simple machines by building their own Rube Goldberg machines — a complex contraption that uses a chain reaction to perform a task.
Students chose their own end tasks for the machines to perform and used great creativity to bring their projects to life. Key requirements were for them to use four different types of energy, have five energy transfers and use at least three different simple mechanisms.
Evy Langdon and Megan McDonald created a machine involving an electrical fan, multiple cardboard tube runs, pulleys and more. Its purpose? To drop bacon into a sizzling pan and fry it. It worked!
Zach Geller and William Schmidt’s design involved fire, multiple ball drops and bounces, a toy car that propels energy forward, thumbtacks and — eventually — a popped balloon. “It’s fun to see the energy transfers and plan all the stops,” Geller said of the assignment.
Wink said that this has been her favorite class project to date because of the strong problem-solving skills and creativity her students showed. They were deeply engaged in the project, invested in the final outcome, and had fun while working on this great end-of-the-year activity.
—Vicki Woodruff, MS English teacher and roving reporter