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Edison Middle School students creating massive, Rube Goldberg-type machine

— You can build almost anything with cardboard, string, small plastic wheels and—this is crucial—a hot glue gun.

Edison Middle School students were using those items and all of their ingenuity Friday to create a massive, Rube Goldberg-type machine.

Goldberg was known for contraptions in which a simple task, such as passing the salt, is accomplished by a complicated series of maneuvers using ramps, levers, switches and pulleys.

“We’ve got about three weeks to make this,” said Jack Swingle, 13, spokesman for a team made up of him; Erik Woelfle, 13; and Riley Jensen, 13.

They’ll need it.

Not only are they making their own little machine, their machine has to connect to every other little machine in the seventh grade.

Seventh-grade teacher Andy LaChance explained that students were divided into teams and each given a one-foot square of wood. Using string, light wire, paper cups, small weights, plastic wheels, small wooden dowels and little plastic girders, the teams had to create a machine to carry a marble from one side of the square to the other.

“They have to use simple machines—inclined plane, wheel and axle, screw, wedge, pulley—to make their machine,” LaChance explained.

The project teaches concepts such as acceleration, force and weight displacement.




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