Students build a rube goldberg machine to pop 2 balloons

Goal: Pop those balloons

The first-year students in the Engineering Science program tested their knowledge by building a Rube Goldberg machine for their final exam. The goal: construct the most complicated machine, using as many mechanical, electrical, and chemical means as possible, to cause movements that would ultimately pop 2 balloons. The purpose: to demonstrate their knowledge of energy transfer. 

"Students are actually demonstrating their understanding of an application of physics," said Corning Community College Professor John Longwell. "The exercise was a learning experience about the transer of energy, teamwork, research, and planning

More than 30 students, working in 8 teams, completed the exercise. Students had three weeks to design their machines and could use any items they wanted to cause movement. Some of the items used by the teams included dominos, soda bottles, string, balls, batteries, and paper towel tubes.