I did a terrible job of photographing the last few weeks of Rube Goldberg and Simple Machine explorations at STEAM Club. We dedicated the last meeting or two to figuring out how all of the components were going to link together. As always seems to be the case, things magically came together in the end.
We were prepared to use a lot of ramps and lift to make the connections but after seeing what everyone had come up with individually or in their teams they came together with very little manipulation from us. The kids were able to make minor modifications to their contraptions to get them to fit and we had a couple perfect test runs early on the day of the festival. One thing about making Rube Goldberg that will be moved and set up somewhere else is that environmental factors can wreck havoc on your carefully laid out plans. As a result we had the final set-up inside Millett Hall where the festival is held, most other activities for the day are outside, weather permitting. The floors at Millett were similar to the hallways at the middle school so we didn't have much trouble there.
Our fabulous student, Julia, had been diligently testing and prototyping sections of her component for several weeks at STEAM Club, but no one had ever seen the finished product, She assured me it was too large and complicated to bring into school. Julia is always incredibly reliable and dedicated so I had no misgivings about her showing up with anything less than a stellar component of our mechanism.
Since we couldn't practice with her section we decided her's would be the start of the chain reaction, I felt confident in her saying the golf ball would exit her section at the correct height with enough velocity to continue on. All of the kids from the club were excited to finally see all of her hard work at home come to fruition at the festival. She truly out did herself, with peripheral reactions that spelled out her name with homemade dominoes!
We had a good crowd for the final performance with just one or two hinks along the way. There were high school physics students and instructors there that had been working on some similar pursuits in class and they were truly impressed with the work our students had come up with in their after school investigations.