STEAM Club, meet Rube Goldberg

Our big STEAM Club project for the Kinetics Festival this year is going to be a large Rube Goldberg concoction.  Inspired by Arthur Ganson's group Rube Goldberg each year around Thanksgiving at MIT, we wanted each kid, or small group of kids to create a small Rube Goldberg contraption that could be combined with all the others to make one large piece. We asked that each section be made to assume a golf ball would enter the scenario at 2 inches off of  ground level and leave at 6 inches from ground level.  This would ensure that everyone was making contraptions that were not just a series of fun ramps but were actually moving a ball upward along the way.  This would also allow us to connect the different sections with some gravity assist from a ball going from 6" to 2" to get each piece started off on its best foot. I brought in a bizarre selection of baubs and bits for the kids to start experimenting with.  This first day I brought lots of dominos and my sons extensive collection of Quadrilla marble runs so we could just in general explore chain reactions.