On June 13th, AGSS hosted a workshop about Engineering and Rube Goldberg Machines! Hosted by our graduating president, Kasie Leung, we first started by learning about the basics of machines by covering some simple physics, including potential and kinetic energy, force, gravity, and more. Kids answered questions such as “What is force?”, talking about it in both the context of Newton’s Second Law and examples of force in their everyday lives. Afterwards, the kids then did an awesome mini lab to get them thinking about machines. Using pool noodles, they built their own roller coasters on their tables, incorporating different materials, slopes, and more. Using this mini lab and various physics formulas, the kids got to see the Conservation of Energy in action.
We then moved on to learn about some “Simple Machines” such as levers, pulleys, and more, and how we see these simple machines are incorporated into more complex ones. The kids looked at various examples, including cars, slides, and seesaws.
Finally, today’s workshop culminated with the kids building a Rube Goldberg machine that spanned across the whole library room. A.k.a, a super complex machine to do a very simple task, that being popping a balloon today. Using what they learned in the past two hours, their task was to incorporate at least two simple machines into their design. Another challenge was that they also needed to communicate with their adjacent teams to make sure their machines could all be connected together. The kids all had so much fun, and the final product included a mixture of pulleys, ramps, and more. Barring some technical difficulties, the machine was, at the end, able to pop the balloon as intended!
Thanks to everyone who came, and we hope to see you at the NASA Astrocamp on either June 30th or July 1st! <33