July 25, 2018

Posted by Vickie Blanchet on 7/25/2018

Grade 7+:  Rollercoasters & Rube Goldberg Machines

After working on their projects for three weeks, our grade 7+ class was finally ready to share it.  The first group to see the rollercoaster in action was the K-2 class.  Before starting the rollercoaster, the students shared about the physics involved such as kinetic and potential energy.  They explained that the chain to bring the rollercoaster to the top caught and stripped the gears of the motor.  Rather than let this be a deterint to completing the project, the students manually pull the chain and raise the rollercoaster cars.  Another student shared that he helps the cars make one of the turns at the bottom because the team was unable to overcome the lack of momentum and the angles at that point.  Their motto was "Try Fail - Try Fail - Try Prevail" and they demonstrated it throughout the project.


The other part of their summer focus was on chain reactions.  Students worked in teams to build Rube Goldberg machines out of jenga style blocks, marble machines, hot wheels tracks, and much more.  Often an exercise in frustration, these students demonstrated patience, resilence and grit this summer as they built and rebuilt their chain reactions many times.