Metaphor machines!

For the past few weeks, we have been making Rube-Goldberg machines about important revolutions throughout history. We call them Metaphor Machines. This project used Humanities, Science, and Math time to work on. Each item on our machine is a metaphor for an important event in our assigned revolutions. I worked with Melika, Owen, and Jamie and we were given the American Revolution. In this project, we had to take it one step further and theme our entire project around the idea of steampunk.  Here is a quick definition of steampunk for those unfamiliar:

We started out by researching the American Revolution, it’s causes, and it’s consequences. I’ll give you a brief rundown in case you’re unfamiliar. The American Revolution started around 1765 and continued until 1783. After British colonists moved to America, the British started ordering the colonists to pay higher taxes even though they weren’t given rights and representation back in Britain. The colonists revolted, which started the American Revolutionary War. The colonists won and gained independence from Britain.

Here is the video that we made that shows and explains all of the parts of our machine.

The first part of our machine was a ramp that a marble ran down. As the tensions between the American colonists and the British grew, the colonists spoke against the government. The ramp represents the colonists splitting off from Britain. A coin is also knocked down it’s own ramp, and into a basket on a wheel. This represents the Stamp Act, a tax placed on colonists, which ultimately separated them even more from Britain. Next, the wheel rolls down a ramp. The ramp is tilted down because the marble from the beginning knocks the ramp down. This represents the different taxes placed upon the colonists, causing taxes to go around and around like this wheel. Afterwards, the wheel hits a weighed down teabag, which pushes it down a ramp. This is similar to what happened during the Townshend Acts, when the prices of glass, paint, oil, and tea were raised. Because the price of tea increased, the amount of tea in America fell, just like the tea bag.Then, the colonists revolted the Townshend act by dumping crates and crates of tea into the ocean. On the machine, we represent this with the teabag falls into a small box, painted blue like the ocean. Finally, the teabag turns on a switch which powers on the circuit, lighting up the flag of the 13 colonies (the first version of the America we know today) and playing the American national anthem. This represents America becoming fully independent from Britain.

Overall, this was one of my favourite projects that we have done so far this year, because it covered many different aspects of learning. This project has helped me to learn so much more about how the world we live in today came to be.

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