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~The Kinetic Light-up Legomobile~

For my Science 10 Physics project, we had to create a Rube Goldberg machine. This is a machine that is about transferring energy to do a simple thing. The goal of the Kinetic Light-up Legomobile is to light up battery-powered lights. The following steps for my machine are how I got it to work after many attempts.

A) Potential energy was building up as the ball was waiting to roll down a slide and through an inclined plane to create force for the next step. The ball was released by my hand, which made the energy become kinetic when it started to move. The ball started off as gravitational energy. The ball’s gravitational energy transfers to mechanical as it begins to move down the inclined plane.

B) The ball hits a wheel and axle. In this case, the wheel and axle is the Lego truck. The wheel and axle works like a lever and multiplies the force from the ball.  The ball’s mechanical energy turns into gravitational when it hits the truck.  The trucks gravitational energy transfers to mechanical energy when it gets hit by the ball.

C) The wheel and axle carries the force from the ball to wooden dominoes as it rolls onto them. The energy went from mechanical to gravitational once again. The moving dominoes make a loud noise which creates sound energy.

D) The moving dominoes activate a wooden lever sitting on a wedge made of Lego. Now, energy is gravitational for the dominoes. The lever is moving, so the energy is mechanical for the lever. The lever wasn’t moving before, so it was gravitational.

E) The lever lifts the ball and then knocks the ball down an inclined plane. The lever’s energy is now gravitational because it has stopped moving, and the ball’s energy is mechanical as it moves.

F) Finally, the ball hits a wooden lever to activate a battery-powered light string. When the ball hits the lever, the energy is going to gravitational for the ball, but mechanical for the lever. The last energy transfer is gravitational to chemical when the batteries get activated by the switch, electrical when the wires conduct electricity from the battery, light from the lightbulbs, and eventually thermal as the light heats up.

Here is an image of my project: