Science and Engineering Blog Post #4: Reflect and Share






Explain how it works/doesn’t work using scientific terminology:

Regarding the science of this project, my project was a successful one. My goal was to show the potential energy of the marble changing into kinetic energy. By using the cardboard pipes, I have clearly shown this part of my project. When I held the marble, it had gravitational potential energy. As soon as I left my hands, going inside the pipes, the potential energy has changed to kinetic energy. As the marble rolled inside the tube, the gravitational potential energy was lost and transformed into kinetic energy which was the moving energy. However, along with this came with the unintended science which was related to the pulley. The force of the ball has made the lift go down with the kinetic energy. The kinetic energy inside the ball would change into potential energy once it went inside the paper cup.

Explain the areas you were successful in the product/process:

For sure I was successful with the idea of having the marble rolling through the pipes and hitting the dominoes. As we can observe from the video, The ball smoothly moved into the tubes where it didn’t stop going through the pipes and running the dominoes. This was a problem from blog post #3 where my marble got stuck because of the last tube, however, now I fixed it perfectly which makes the ball go smoothly. To repair this part, I had to break down the 3rd pipe and reglue it together so it won’t have a big blob of glue inside the tube. Another successful part was having up to 90% of the accuracy of hitting the dominoes. At first, I wasn’t sure of where I should put the dominoes, however after that, I found a place where the ball would always land, so I put my dominoes on that spot, which made a much more successful trial. Lastly, the successful part had two bamboo sticks at the start of the last row of pipes. This was one of the personal problems I solved because when I tested before, the marble would always go over the tube, so I made two bamboo sticks to ensure that the marble will go in perfectly and until now it showed a 100% of accuracy. Which was a really fantastic part of this Rube Goldberg machine.

Explain the areas you need to improve in the product/process:

There is one area where I need to improve in this project. It is the pulley part. Even though I still had the idea of the pulley, from the previous blog post, I found out I needed two cups which was a problem I already solved, however, there was another problem which I wasn’t able to answer. It was the part where as soon as the marble goes inside the paper cup, because the weight was stuck into the pipe, the pulley won’t work. The width of the cardboard pipe was too small which led the block to stay still even though the side where there was the cup is heavier. Because of this, sometimes the pulley would work and sometimes I had to use my hand to pull the pulley just like the video above.

Another problem was after the pully worked. After it worked, the marbles in the second cup would fall down and hit the dominoes which would cause a big failure. In the video, this did not happen. However a lot of times the marble would fall down and sometimes, the pulley broke down as well. Another part was regarding the size of the project. This project was massive which made me have a little supply of dominoes to reach the end of the table. Therefore for the final product video, I needed my classmate to push the dominoes so I can show what I intended to do.

If I had one more week

If I had one more week, I would first try to fix my pulley. In the end, I didn’t have enough time to plan out how I would set the lift, which resulted in me to use my hands to make it work. What I would do is use ordinary tape to make a hole only for a marble to go in. This way it would prevent the marble from spilling out of the cup. After that, I would use duck tape to stick my 2nd paper cup on to the 1st paper cup so it would stay still and not fall down. After that, I would try to get more dominoes so I would eventually hit the ball which will hit the tambourine making it an alarm.

Explain the impact of this project on the environment and potential client/consumer:

As I have changed my client/consumer to a person who needs an alarm to wake up, this will impact them in many different ways. If someone wants to wake them up either because they are late to school or work but doesn’t want to go inside the room, that person just may roll a marble and make them wake up. This way they won’t have any excuse for being late to work or school which not only is a benefit for the consumer, however also a benefit for the people in the company/school. Also, for families who have these kinds of kids, it will benefit them because they no longer have to go inside the room, which might be dirty, to wake them up. Therefore, if they only set this up, it is a win-win for everybody around them.


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