Upper and Lower School Students Learn About Physics Together

Upper and Lower School Students Learn About Physics Together

Upper and Lower School students came together for a unique activity last week. Two kindergarten classes were invited to judge the Rube Goldberg machines made by students in the Introduction to Engineering class for grades 10-12, taught by Upper School Science Teacher Pandie Anderson.

“Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist, inventor, and engineer who created complex drawings,” said Anderson. “The purpose of a Rube Goldberg machine is to make a simple task as complicated as possible.”

Her engineering students set out to make a machine that would pop a balloon, taking as many transitions as they desired. Working in groups, the students could use any materials found in the EC3 Design Center as well as the Science Storeroom. EC3 Operations Manager Jeffrey Sprague helped the students with their creations and demonstrations.

The inventions were judged in three categories: Most Creative, Funniest, and Most Successful. Naturally, the object wasn’t really to win, it was to watch the machines go through all their transitions.

The kindergarteners watched with rapt attention (and some with covered ears) as the older students demonstrated their inventions until the desired “pop” happened. More than one budding engineer was likely inspired by the activity!

Donations to the OES Fund make programs like these possible. Thank you for supporting the OES mission.