Rube Goldburg is a fun challenge for you and your friends to enjoy. The task is to take a normal thing (getting some Smarties out of a container) and make it complex by adding pulleys/lever/gears/ramps/pipes etc. It will take a while but it is all worth it; have some fun with it and play around adding your own twist to it. It is included in Spotlight STEM and is a great activity for you to build with friends and family, the more colourful you make it the better it looks. If you want more info go to iCharzy on YouTube and check it out, make it your own and just have fun!!!!!!
Step 1: Materials
You will need:
- Craft materials such as PomPoms, pipe cleaners, loom bands, packing peanuts coloured (stickle puffs)
- Different types of softwood (depending on the size of your structure)
- Lights, fans, buzzers (mechanical engineering), batteries and wires
- Pipes (in variety of sizes)
- Toy car
- Heavy marbles and normal marbles
- Small tin (light)
- Fishing line
- Boxes and objects for support (you can also use cardboard)
- Bicarb Soda (Baking Soda) and vinegar
- Nails and hot gluegun
Step 2: Designing Your Structure
You will need to be very careful in designing your structure but make sure that it will be practical and able to be transported/moved, you have to consider the impracticalities. You have to make your base sucure and work your way up from there. We decided to use frames but if you wanted a small one that only had one or two platforms that I recommend that you use a traingle or square base (triangles is most effective for heavy structures/designs. You will need to make some borders (using the craft materials) so that your marble will roll through your structure; drill some holes into your wood so that your marble will roll through. If you are going to make a switch for your lights, fans etc than you will need to have some ball bearings to activate them; drill some holes the size of your pipes and slot them into the holes.
Step 3: ?Hot Tips?
1. Make sure that your structure is stable and can be knocked and transported.
2. The more colourful the better!
3. Try and get as many different types of crafts as you can (they need to be strong and effective, they also need to fulfil the task of being a border).
4. If you want to include lights and fans you will need to make sure that you make a switch that will go onto the part of your design that is unseen (bottom of the platform)
5. If you make a frame (like us) the bigger it is the more stability it will have REMEBER THAT YOUR DESIGNS FRAMES PLATFORMS MUST BE SLOPED
6. There will be a lot of faults but you will have to turn them to your advantage and work with them because if you don't then your structure will not work (if you stress over the little things and try to perfect them it will ruin the big things THE IMPORTANT ONES).
Step 4: ⁉️What Egineering (Simple Machines) Will You Choose⁉️
There are many simple machines that occur in everyday day life but are not taken note of, they are just looked at and the egineering behind them is completely forgotten. When you make/complete tasks like these they help you understand how things actually operate and it's complicated. How many wires/bulbs/sticky tape etc do you need to use to make a light???
Some Simple Machines Are:
- Water Pressue System
- Pipes and Platform Changes
- Trapdoor (weight activated)
- Pulley system
- Marble/Toy car rolling
Step 5: Trial and Error
Trial and Error is a key part of this activity/challenge, not everything will go your way and it there will be a lot of flaws in your structure (parts where the marble will get stuck). We have figured out a process of getting rid of all the flaws and mistakes, you just need to swap the position and placing of some things and the mistakes turn to work to your advantage. You will need to try out what works for your structure and add some marbles here and there just as a backup BUT JUST REMEMBER NOT TO PLACE TOO MANY OTHERWISE THEY WILL GET STUCK IN RANDOM PLACES ALL BUNCHED UP, it is advised to work with a team or friend as it is a great activity to do as a group and you'll loads of have fun. You can add your own lights and decoration to suit your structure but always remember that it doesn't hurt to make it look nice. You will probably think again times that things aren't going to work but you just need to find another perspective and then it will be a lot easier. You can type u simple machines and you'll find a range that will fit into your design, Rube Goldburg is a great way to earn trust and have new experiences.
Step 6: How to Make a Switch???
The most common way of making switches is:
- Have 3 Wires
- Light/Fan/Buzzer (electrical Egineering materials)
- 9v battery
- Lots of sticky tape
- Bulb and holder
- Packet of Split Pins (2 required for every switch)
- Paperclips THEY HAVE TO BE METAL AND NOT COVERED IN ANY PLASTIC OR PAINT (1 each switch)
1. Twist the bulb into the holder
2. Twist 2 wires into the holes at each side
3. Connect one of the wires in the holder to the hole at the top of the battery and sticky tape it there (it had to be scrunched up inside)
4. Connect the other wire from the holder to a split pin (it has to be opened up first) and stick it there
5. Connect one wire from the other battery hole to the remaining split pin
6. Put the paper clip around one of the split pins head
7. WHEN YOU MOVE THE PAPERCLIP TO THE OTHER SPLIT PIN THE BULB SHOULD LIGHT UP??
Step 7: The End
Attach all of your borders, switches and decorations to your structure and then watch it go.You may need to add some things to make it flow but once you are done I'm sure you'll be happy with your results; some switches may need to be adjusted and this shouldn't take you a day it took us about 2 and a half months to complete it during school time. Switch some things around and add some more decor even add some different types of switches and simple machines, HAVE FUN WITH YOUR RUBE GOLDBURG.