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News Archive

Grier Rube-Goldberg Machine Success!

Grier students completed an entry into this year’s online Rube-Goldberg Machine Contest. The 2019 contest challenge was to put a coin into a piggy bank in 20-75 steps. This is Grier’s third year participating in the program, but this year’s machine is notably different. First, the contest no longer has a size restriction, so the floor-to-ceiling machine spanned the classroom instead of one plywood panel. Secondly, Grier’s 2019 machine had more steps than previous entries. Finally, and most incredibly, the machine’s two runs were completely clean! That means that the machine performed exactly how it was designed to perform without any intervention from the team members.
The Grier machine utilized a variety of energy forms, including gravitational, rotational, elastic, and magnetic to successfully drop a coin into a piggy bank. Learning that Canadian coins are magnetic, while US coins are not, was an important discovery in solving the coin-drop problem. Creativity is also component of the complex machine’s design. Grier’s team used a "Piggy Traveler" theme featuring a piggy who travels the world.  The machine featured thirteen mini piggies and one large piggy bank created by Judy J with Grier’s 3D printer. The chain reactions take the globe trotter through a tour of the world, including the London Eye, a South American cloud forest, and the Great Wall of China before launching into outer space. When the coin drops into the big piggy bank, the viewers realize that Piggy is putting money in the bank for the Extraterrestrial Colonization Fund. 
The work on the machine was performed outside of class, with students frequently meeting on weekends and evenings to design, test, and construct the machine. They operated under the guidance of Science Department Head Mrs. Kelley Forest. Students involved in the project include: Rori K, April H, Judy J, Maiia M, Zai D, Jasmine S, Ann S, and Judy W. It took many, many hours to put this together and the team did an excellent job. The results of the contest will be announced later in May. Terrific work!

View the machine’s successful clean run and watch an explanation of the steps from Ann S. in the videos below. Visitors to the Grier team's official contest entry page can also cast their vote for the People's Choice award by clicking the small "Like" button at the top of the page.  

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By RW | Photo credit: Rachel P.
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Grier School

2522 Grier School Rd. | P.O. Box 308 Tyrone, PA 16686-0308
Phone: 814-684-3000 | Fax: 814-684-2177