Learn all about simple machines and how to make them. Experiment with inclined planes, levers, and books ramps to make your own marble run.
Next week, we will combine these simple machines with littleBits!
Inventions: Marble Run using inclined planes and levers
Theme: Simple Machines
Time: 2 hrs
Mentors will need to bring a connected device (phone, ipad, or computer) to access instructional videos.
Tape and/or Hot Glue
Small ball (like marbles, bouncy balls, round beads, etc…)
Toilet paper tube (optional)
PAIR OFF & CATCH UP
Discuss what your mentee explored on JAM.com since last session. What topics did they find interesting and why? Did they participate in any challenges.If possible, take a look together.
INSPIRE: Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist, engineer, and inventor who created chain reaction contraptions to perform simple tasks. He inspired many inventor’s to make their own Rube Goldberg machines, like Joseph Hersher. Check out this machine he made to make lunch more efficient.
PROMPT: When you are experimenting with simple machines today. Think about how you can string them together to make a chain reaction.
DISCUSS/CAREERS: Mechanical engineering
Get started by watching these intro videos:
Intro to Simple Machines
INCLINED PLANES / RAMPS
Watch these videos:
Make an inclined plane
Mini Challenge #1
Build two simple inclined planes. You can use cardboard or found objects. Test rolling a small ball down the ramps. Which ramp is faster?
Mini Challenge #2
Create a marble run by building a series of book ramps. See how many levels you can create.
Making a Lever
Mini Challenge #3
Build a lever out of cardboard or found materials. Place an object on one end of the lever and experiment with what weight you need to cause it to tip.
REMIX (if time)
Mini Challenge #4
Create a marble run that uses both inclined planes AND levers. Try to come up with as many actions as possible for your ball to move through.
Mini Challenge #5
Try to use your simple machines to create different sounds. This is a hint for next week’s session ;)
DISCUSS WITH YOUR MENTEE:
Something your mentee knew about the invention beforehand and something new they learned
How you can string these simple machines together to make a chain reaction contraption?
How they could use these inventions to generate different sounds? For example, marbles bouncing off a tin can makes a “ping” sound. Could you create an instrument this way?
Share what you made and the different ways you can imagine stringing them together.
Share some ideas for ways you could use these simple machines to make different sounds or instruments.
If using littleBits, make sure you have all the parts shown on the side of the box and put them away in the box for storage.
Note: Some of the parts you created today could be nice to use in the upcoming sessions, however, not necessary. Please check with the site coordinator to see if there is a place to store them.
SUPER IMPORTANT HOMEWORK
Before next session, your mentee should go on JAM, select a new topic that sounds interesting, participate in 1 challenge, and upload to the community. You will discuss it next time!
Log Your Session
After the session, please fill out the mentor feedback form