Rube Goldberg machine

Namine built a Rube Goldberg machine for science class. It was not as easy as she expected.

Namine enjoyed learning about Rube Goldberg machines in science class. When she received her assignment to draw, diagram, or build one, she first asked me if I knew of any way to build an interactive one on the computer.

Namine is still young enough that she enjoys hearing about our childhoods, so I told her about a video game I played when I was a boy: The Incredible Machine.

I managed to find an online version of the game — isn’t the Internet wonderful? — but Namine decided that she’d rather build one for real. Her assignment required her machine to have at least three distinct actions before achieving its desired result. She settled on having dominoes knock a car down a track, which tossed a ball in the air into a box.

I should mention that this was far from the initial attempt. I took five videos, but Namine had several more attempts than that. Since she was doing her science experiment on the floor, she discovered the unpredictability of balls rolling on carpet or bouncing in odd ways. She also encountered the track slipping, balanced blocks falling over, and all kinds of other unexpected results.

And that’s… that’s chaos.