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Rube Goldberg Machines

Each year, Optimized Technical Solutions facilitates the development of a Rube Goldberg machine for a group of gifted students.

  • For 2012, the Rube Goldberg machine was designed to close a phone book. It worked by placing a bookmark in the book which released a pair of cooking tongs, dropping a golf ball. The golf ball knocks a block off of a teeter with a gloved hand which causes it to trip a mousetrap. The mousetrap pulls a stopper from a funnel releasing water into a scale. As the scale drops, it pulls a string releasing a music box. The music box turns pushing a disk down a channel. The disk hits a cart on a ramp which pulls a string closing the phone book. A video can be found here: Rube Goldberg 2012.
  • For 2011, the Rube Goldberg machine was designed to play the Ok Go video of a Rube Goldberg machine. It worked by dumping water which flowed through a tube into a jar. As the jar filled, it tripped a rat trap which catapulted a mouse ball into a cardboard box. The ball then rolled down a clear hose where it knocked down a trap door. As the trap door falls, it pulls a string that releases a ball on a Newton's cradle. The cradle knocks a golf ball which falls on a top. The top runs down a hot wheels track where it knocks a hard rubber ball. The ball bounces and pivots the glove to press a wireless mouse that plays the video. A video can be found here: Rube Goldberg 2011.