Last week we held a Big Bang Challenge workshop to give intermediate students tips on building their Rube Goldberg machines. With 41 teams entered into this year’s awards, we are sure to see some serious innovation!
After watching a video by machine building legend, Jiwi from Joseph’s Machines, Lindsey Morgan from House of Science led the group with hands-on activities like zip line and fidget spinner challenges to get the students’ minds into machine-building mode.
The students asked lots of questions and were excited to share their thinking. I think they are going to make some excellent steps in their machines. We are going to have some well thought out, exceedingly good machines build this year! – Lindsey
Jiwi suggests starting with the ending first and building backwards from there.
Jiwi spends about half his time building the machine, and the other half planning and testing. If a step works 9 out of 10 times, it’s time to move onto the next step.
Building Rube Goldberg machines can be take a long time and involves a lot of trial and error so be patient and persistent
It’ll likely take you 20 tries before you get a successful filming of your machine. Leave enough time at the end for filming.
Think about the timing of the steps – if a step is too fast, it can be hard to watch, but if it’s too slow it might be boring. Get the timing right so it’s fun to watch!
The Big Bang Challenge is a partnership between Young Innovator Awards and House of Science and is sponsored by Plus Group.