BRAUER College students channelled their inner mad scientist yesterday as they competed in building Rube Goldberg machines.
Named after an American cartoonist and inventor, the devices can be any over-complicated contraption designed to perform a very simple task through chain reactions.
Science teacher Delia Jenkins said the year seven students were applying theories of physics to construct each apparatus.
“The Rube Goldberg machine is something sophisticated that does something very simple, like turning a switch or blowing out a candle,” she said.
“We’ve been learning about different types of forces and how they work.
“The machines can be built from anything you want and most students have brought a lot of stuff from home.
Harry Moss, 12, said his team’s project took several weeks of planning and building to produce the final result.
“The aim was for it to last 20 seconds using whatever we could find,” he told The Standard.
“Ours was built on an angle so the marble has enough speed to keep going but we had to muck around and experiment with it until we got it to 20 seconds.”
Rachel Johnstone, 13, said the complex machines could consist of almost any household materials, including dominoes, cardboard, marbles, children’s building blocks and metal plates.
“Most of it is about force and predicting how it’s going to land,” she said. “We started with a ramp and added different parts with ideas we found on YouTube.”
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