A Rube Goldberg machine. It’s a machine that overcomplicates a simple task. Requiring engineering skills to make. This is what we made in our new Scimatics project; Metaphor machines. We were tasked with building a Rube Goldberg machine that solves a task while representing the scientific method. All to answer our driving questions: How can we represent the scientific method? And What factors affect the function and efficiency of electric circuits? 

We spent the past few weeks learning about how electric circuits work and making a machine with our group. My group was: Ally, Holly, Anders, and I. 

In this project I was using the following competencies: 

I used this competency when we did the project start mind map. I was coming up with questions that I needed to know about the project and I was able to make predictions on how we would answer them. At the end of this project I answered these questions and added to my mind map.

  • Before
  • After

I was able to use this competency when making our blueprints. I had to come up with a reasonable design that would work. In my blueprint I didn’t add a place for the circuit which was a problem and though I had a plan of what I was going to make I had no idea how it would work. Thankfully, even though each group member made their own blueprint, we came together in the end and combines our ideas. This meant that I was able to still use my ideas and together as a group we were able to find out how we were going to execute them.

  • Individual Blueprint

This competency was something that I used on the workbooks and test that we had on electric circuits. I used my logical skills to learn about how electricity travels through circuits. I learned about Ohms law and electric potential difference and using reasoning and analyzing I was able to determine how to incorporate our electric circuit into our machine.

Our final product was this machine. We used technical methods to include a wheel, a pulley, and a series circuit. The first part of our circuit is a wheel with symbols that represent the five senses. This part of our machine represents the observation stage of our machine. Then, the ball roles down a slope to a rope that releases another, smaller ball. This ball travels down and falls behind a question mark. This is meant to represent the questioning and hypothesis stage. The ball rolls down as it hits many obstacles to show how this stage narrows down the possible outcomes. This transitions to the experiment stage shown using a beaker. Finally the ball slides down to where two slopes converge. This shows where there are two possible outcomes. A expected outcome and unexpected outcome. Once the ball get past this stage it will fall down onto a light switch that turns on our electric circuit and finally lands in a bucket. This is the conclusion of our machine letting the person choose whether or not to start again or leave it be.

In this project I was really proud at how well our group worked together. We were able to combine our ideas really well and were able to come up with technical methods to create our machine. One thing that I made was the wheel and I was proud of how good it looked in the end and how it worked. Over all I thought that if we were to change anything I wish that we were better coordinated with time management so that we could have finished the video on time. Through trial and error my group and I was able to end up with a really good solution that I was proud of.