For our first advanced science project, we were to build a Rube Goldberg machine that could not be taller, wider, or thicker than 80cm, and had at least 10 energy transfers. The goal of the machine was to turn on a calculator while being over 15 seconds in length.


Before I could start to design/construct my machine, I conducted some research. I read about Rube Goldberg machines and found some examples on-line. I watched videos, and researched the history of Rube Goldberg machines. After brain storming some ideas and viewing a bunch on Google, I was ready to start my project. My first step was to design a rough draft of my machine, and to plan out my ten transfers of energy. After this, I drafted a more detailed sketch of my machine. Now I started to build my machine using my sketch as a guide. Once it was build, I then worked on reliability and made sure it would work correctly every time.


1) After I release a marble at the beginning of the track, it travels down and hits a metal gate.
2) This metal gate then hits another marble sending it down a ramp.
3) The metal marble falls into a metal spiral that guides it down into a cup that pulls a wooden peg down.
4) Wooden peg falls and allows race car to run down ramp.
5) Race car hits marble.
6) Marble lands in cup, weighing it down.
7) Cup with marble weighs down, and pulls up ramp, which causes a marble to fall.
8) Marble then hits metal gate.
9) Metal gate hits another marble causing it to roll down a ramp.
10) Marble then hits another gate.
11) Gate hits another marble that rolls down a ramp.
12) Marble falls down a tube which hits a pin, that presses on the on button on the calculator.

Final Sketch


My Final Project



I ran my machine 5 times. My machine worked perfectly once. It was doing things that it had never done in trial. I had adjusted several things to help with reliability before I brought it to school, but when it got there, things must had shifted. If I had more time I would have made the hole for the first marble deeper so it wouldn't start to roll before it was hit by the metal gate. I would also have build a little wall to keep the marble from flying out on the ramps after the car hits the marble, the piece of wood I had there was not enough.