The Imperial Cereal Machine – Rude Goldberg Project

Our task for this project was to plan out and create a Rube Goldberg machine. A Rube Goldberg machine is a machine that is designed to perform a simple task in an indirect or super complicated way. Linked in a somewhat domino effect, these machines have many simple devices all triggering each other.

A Drawing of our Machine


  1. “Mom, I’m still hungry. Can I have more cereal please?” Once this child moves their bowl, they will start the machine.
  2. The bowl will knock over the pop can that the child was drinking with breakfast. This pop can will then roll down a ramp.
  3. At the bottom of the ramp, a selection of blocks will be lined up. Once this pop-can reaches the bottom, it will start a domino effect knocking the blocks down.
  4. The last block will land on one side of a lever. Since this block is the load, the other side of the lever will rise to roll the ball down the lever and pushing the block off the end. This block will then fall into the pulley system bucket.
  5. Once this block is in the bucket, the bucket will lower ultimately moving the container that is blocking the wind-up toy car.
  6. The wind-up car will hit the red funnel that is keeping a marble in place.
  7. This marble will roll down the ramp, fall into the red ramp and then fall again into the basket.
  8. Once the ball is in the basket, the fan will power on.
  9. The fan will blow cereal that has been placed on the inclined plane up and into the bowl that Kelsey will grab from the starting point.

Our Video

Our Descriptions

Mechanical to Gravitational Energy Transformation: When the child moved their bowl asking for more cereal, they started the machine. What this child didn’t know was that when the initial contact with the pop can be made, mechanical energy transformed into gravitational energy as the pop can roll down the ramp.

Gravitational to Electrical to Thermal Energy Transformation: The movement of the marble was the starting point in this transformation. From the gravitational energy of the marble, this energy was transformed into electrical energy, demonstrated when the fan turned on. From there, electrical energy transformed into thermal energy when the air flow from the fan could be felt.

Elastic to Mechanical Energy Transformation: The wind-up toy car has stored elastic energy due to the application of force from the container. Even though we previously winded up the car, the force from the container stopped the car from moving. When the container was removed the car’s stored up energy is transformed into mechanical energy as it moves from one place to another.

Electrical Energy: When the fan turned on, it used electrical energy because there was a flow of electrons through the outlet through the wire, to the fan.

Thermal Energy: Once the fan was on, the thermal energy could be felt through the flow of air. This air got cooler due to the vibration of atoms and molecules in the air.

Gravitational Energy: The pop can have gravitational energy because of its position of height on the kitchen counter.

Mechanical Energy: There are many objects in our machine that use mechanical energy. The reason for this type of energy is because of the movement of an object from one place to another.

Elastic Energy: The wind-up toy car has stored up elastic energy from when someone pulls it back. This energy is not released until the container is moved out of the path and the car can move forward.


Week 17 – Arithmetic Series

What is an Arithmetic series?  

While building onto last week’s topic I did, arithmetic is in the same field of ideas when it comes to sequences. A sequence that ends on a certain number (not infinite) is an arithmetic series. We use arithmetic series to find the sum of all of the numbers in the named sequence. Which sounds easy when it comes to a series that is only five numbers and go up by 2. So you can just do simple adding and it is not likely that you would make any mistakes.  With sequences that are much bigging or the difference between each number is huge, it doesn’t make any sense to add up each number in that sequence. That would take ages and one small error would ruin all of your work.

So how can you find the sum of all of the numbers in a sequence? 

WHILE it is all about the patterns! If you are to take the sequence 1,2,3 … 98, 99, 1oo and add the first and last term together, a really cool trick and a pattern is able to be seen. When you are to add  1 and 100, you get the number 101. If you are to do this again the next smallest and next largest term together, you will also get 101. This means in any arithmetic sequence the smallest number and the biggest added together will equal the next smallest and biggest and so on. How can we use this information to find the sum of all of the numbers in a series? You can take the sum of the largest and the smallest number, then multiply that number by the amount of numbers divided by 2 in the series together.

An example of finding the sum:

Week 16 – Sequences

What are sequences?

It is usually a list of numbers but can also be a list of other things. Each of the objects or numbers in the list are called terms, elements, member meaning all the same thing. If the sequence is to go on forever then it is called an infinite sequence. For sequences that end, they are called finite sequence. Sequences are very similar to a set, where there is an order to each set (does not matter what order) and it sets the same value that appears more than once if it is following the patter. Most sequences have a rule that you must follow to find out the next term in the sequence.

For example, the sequence {3,5,7, 9…} starts at 3 and jumps 3 every time. Even if you are to say that this sequence “starts at 3 and jumps 3 every time” doesn’t help to find out further terms like the 10th, 100th, or the 1000th term in this sequence. So, the rule that you can make is for this sequence is something like 2 times n (the n is the number of the term). However, that won’t work as it is off by one each time. So, if we were to try 2n +1 it would work as a rule.

Here are some examples of patterns that are also known as sequences.

Week 15 – Solving Systems

What is a system? 

In math, a system is a two or more linear equations involving the same set of variables. Meaning each system must have x and y in the equation or what other variables you are using for the equation. One example of a system is this:

How to solve a system?

There are many different ways to solve a system such as grafting, substitution and elimination. However, I am going to focus only one of the ways to solve systems substitution. What is the method of substitution? The substitution method is used to eliminate one of the variables by replacement when solving a system of equations. You can think of it as “grabbing” what one variable equal from one equation and “plugging/substituting” it into the other equation. This method works best when one of the linear equations have a variable that does not have a coefficient (so it is all by itself). You can still use it with variables that all have coefficients but it will probably end up in fractions.

The first step is you are going to isolate one of the variables in one of the linear equations, try to make sure it is the best choice (the easiest). Next, with the isolated equations, you are going to “plug” this equation (“substitute it”) for the variable you choose in the other equation, and solve for the other variable. This will leave you with an equation with only one variable. After you are done solving and you have an answer. You are going to take the answer and plug this variable value back into either equation and solve for the other variable that you started with. Lastly, you can verify your answer by inputting the variables that you have come up with into the original equations.

For Example: 

Wonder Project – Information Fluency Reflection

Information Fluency Reflection

  1. What questions did you need to research in order to research your topic?
    1.  At the start of my project, I tried to think of small questions that I would need to answer before I could get to a conclusion for my topic. First, I thought of what are the differences in conditions between Earth and Mars. As Mars is another planet and we have never been there before, I was nervous about how much information I would be able to find. However, I was able to find a lot of cites and articles comparing the two. Another thing I realized later on in the project was it was hard to find stuff theorizing on how humans would adapt to Mars.
  2. What new or familiar digital tools did you try to use as you worked through this project?
    1.  One of the more familiar digital tools that I try to use when I worked through this project was CiteMe. This way I could check if what I was looking at was good and trustworthy. As on the internet, there is a lot of information that is just placed by anyone. Even though this digital tool is not completely new, I have only used it a few times. I started my research with Gale Learning website that I learned about last year. There it was easy to know that all of the sources are already cite and trustworthy.
  3. What was the process you used to investigate the topic?
    1.  The process I used to investigate my topic was by coming up with more narrow downed questions about my topic. After I would take these questions and research/google them. If I wasn’t finding any information, I would slightly change in hope to find info about it. I would also build upon and adapt my questions far through the project.
  4. How did you verify and cite the information you found?
    1.  The sources that I used from the Gale Learning website are already cited and verify before they were placed on the website so I didn’t need to worry about those sources. However, for the ones that I didn’t use from the Gale Learning website, I use CiteMe to cite them. I also choose websites that were specially for students or teachers such as Nasa.
  5. How did the process of completing this challenge go? What could you have done better? 
    1.  The process of completing this project went pretty smoothly until the end. However, there was a moment where I lost all of my research from Gale Learning that I saved in a folder. No matter what I did, I was not able to retrieve the sources. So to overcome that I continued to look for more other sources. One thing that I could have done better would be to make sure all of my research is saved before I close my laptop.

Astronomy Wonder Project

If we were to live on Mars, how would the different conditions affect the human body over time, and would one-day humans be considered a different species?

I have always had an interest in the side of astronomy that includes humans and us being able to explore other planets. Which lead me to wonder, how we react to other planets/space’s harsh conditions? If we were to one day live on Mars how would the people who colonize the planet change over time? What are the differences in conditions on Mars to Earth? Could this affect a human body over a lifetime or would it take generations? What makes a different species to a different race? Therefore my overall Wonder Question is; I wonder if we were to live on Mars, how would the different conditions affect the human body over time, and would one-day humans be considered a different species?

MARS. In our solar system, it is the fourth planet from the sun and it is the following planet beyond Earth. Also known as the Red Planet because of its red colour from the iron oxide (similar to rust) in the soil. From the sun, this planet is more than 142 million miles away. Mars is smaller than Earth, as it is around one-sixth of its size. Mars also resembles Earth by having a moon, but differently, it has two moons.  Clouds and wind are also present on the red planet.

What are the differences in conditions on Mars to Earth?

One appearance difference is that Mars’ surface is mostly covered in rest dust and is rocky with lots of craters, volcanoes, canyons and places that could have been great lakes in the past. Even though there isn’t liquid water on the surface of Mars, only a few feet below there are large clean sheets of ice. Some of these ice sheets are more than 300 feet thick.

Another difference in the conditions is the temperature. Mars is quite a bit colder than Earth because of the thinner atmosphere (as well as lack of an ozone layer) and the greater distances from the sun. According to the Nasa’s fact sheet, Mars’ atmosphere is;

  • Carbon dioxide: 95.32 percent
  • Nitrogen: 2.7 percent
  • Argon: 1.6 percent
  • Oxygen: 0.13 percent
  • Carbon monoxide: 0.08 percent
  • Also, minor amounts of water, nitrogen oxide, neon, hydrogen-deuterium-oxygen, krypton and xenon

The temperature on Earth varies to place to place but the average temperature on Earth is 0.87 °C. However, Mars’ average temperature is minus 60 °C and can range from minus 126 °C in the winter season closer to the poles, to 20 °C during the summer season near the equator.

Similar to Earth, the red planet does have season caused by the planet’s tilt on its axis, but the difference is it also has a second seasonal effect. Mars has this because of its high elliptical orbit. The days on Mars are a bit longer than 24 hours. A year on the planet is around 1.88 years on Earth.

Gravity. One of the biggest differences between the two planets. As Mars’ surface gravity is only 38% of Earth. Someone who was to weigh 100 pounds on Earth would only weigh around 37 pounds on Mars because of the gravity. As well as having a weaker gravitational pull than Earth, it has more harmful radiation that causes more cancer.

While Mars has harm conditions that can seem very drastic compared to Earth. There are places on Earth such as the Dry Valleys of Antarctica that also has an extremely hostile environment. These valleys are very dry and cold. However, recently there was a species of Beauveria Bassiana that was found in these valleys. Beauveria Bassiana’s living conditions are similar to those on Mars. So researchers believe that there might be a possibility that life might exist on Mars too.

How would these conditions affect a human body over time or in someone’s lifetime?

Even just the process of travelling to the red planet is going to a toll on the bodies of the people. Research has already shown that even astronauts who spend short periods in space with zero gravity have a fast list of alterations to their bodies. Zero gravity and a smaller amounts of gravity will weaken the bones, muscles of a body and changes the circulation of the body. Less gravity can also expand the space in between your vertebrae, making the person taller in height.

There could also have physiological effects that range from muscle atrophy to osteoporosis, effects on the balance and cardiovascular system. As the human bodies adjust to the lower level of gravity it would make it impossible to live under the Earth’s conditions if they were to return.

‘Superoxides’ are present in the ultraviolet radiation in the soil are hard to predict how there would do to the human body. Depending on how much time the colonists spend outside the habitation, they will be exposed to 22 mSv per year.

There could be two ways that humans adapt to the harm conditions of Mars:

The first way we could adapt is we could become weaker versions of our current bodies (shorter lifespans, health problems). One example if our skulls were to get smaller, we could have a neurological disorder. If we were to adapt in this way, it wouldn’t be long it until it would be more of a death sentence to live on Mars.

However, if we wanted to survive for longer. We would have to have the opposite changes. Becoming stronger, and taller versions of our current selves. Some scientist think we would could also develop orange skin. As the food we would need to eat that fights and protects harmful UV radiation on Mars; it could cause us to turn that colour from the protective carotene. The carotene found in these foods are also a good defense against the cancer that could be caused by the radiation on Mars.

On Mars, the high levels of the radiation on the surface could mutate our DNA at a quicker pace. Our species takes a few hundred of thousand of years to evolve on Earth. But there might be a higher mutation rate that could cause a new human species (10x faster than on Earth)

What makes a different species to a different race? Could a person living on Mars one day be considered a different species? 

A species is a group of individuals that could interbreed in nature. This means a species is the biggest gene pool that is possible under the natural conditions of the world. For example, humans can look different, but as we can all interbreed. Therefore we are all the same species. This answers the question could a person living on Mars be one-day a different species. Scientists believe that depending on how long people are living on Mars, it will be impossible to have a child with someone from Earth and Mars.

In Conclusion 

The conditions of Mars do not make sense to live and colonize this planet. As even on Earth there are some places (with extreme conditions) that we have science bases on with scientists living to study but won’t have normal people living there. It is also quite expensive to have a mission to Mars.


Week 11 – Finding Distances on a Coordinate Plane

Before we start to find the distances of lines, there are three different types of lines that you can find. The first one is a horizontal line, a horizontal line is a line that is a straight line that goes from left to right. And on a coordinate plane, a horizontal line runs parallel to the x-axis. The next one is a vertical line that is a straight line that goes up and down. On a coordinate plane, a vertical line will run parallel to the y-axis. The final type of line is an oblique line. It is lines that are drawn at an angle (other than 900) to the horizon. They are neither vertical nor horizontal.

There are two ways to find different types of distances on a coordinate plane. If the coordinate plane you are using has small or easy numbers to count and the line is either horizontal or vertical you can count the points to find the distances between the two points. However, as it gets harder when the numbers get bigger or the line is an oblique line, you need to use another method.

When the line is either horizontal or vertical the way to find the distances is to take the coordinates of the to points that you want to find the distances between. Then the points that are different (the x-axis ones for horizontal lines, and the y-axis ones for the vertical lines) and subtract them. Make sure that the number you get is positive and if it is not, just change it to be positive.

However, is the line is oblique, there is another method to find the distances of the points. When you look at this line on a coordinate plane it looks like a hypotenuse line which gives you a big clue on how to solve for the distance. You can make a triangle and find the distances of the vertical and horizontal line of the triangle. Finally, you can use Pythagoras’s theory ( a squared + b squared = c squared) to find the distances of the last line.

Some examples:

Week 10 – Function Notation

What is a function again?

It is a special group that is a part of relations. This group only has one output for every input. This means that all functions are relations but not all relations are functions. An example of a function is how each person only has one biological father.

So what is function notation?

Well, it can be considered as the way we write functions. It is meant to be a precise way of giving information about a function. Instead of writing out the whole situation and the chance of people getting confused from the words presented. Also, this is to make the function simpler for the reader. To not mix up different functions, each one is given a name, and they are referred to a single letter.

How to write function notation?

While to start you are going to give the function a name. For my example, I am going to use the letter f. However, it can be any letter you want. The name of the function will look like this: f(x). The f(x) notation is another way of representing the y-value in a function, y = f(x). You can also label the y-axis as the f(x) axis when you are graphing.  Next, you add the formal to the end.


Week 9 – Relations and Functions

What is a relation?

A “relation” is just a relationship between sets of information. For example; think of all the people in one of your classes, and think of their heights. The pairing of names and heights is a relation. The set of all the starting points (input) is called “the domain” and the set of all the ending points (output) is called “the range.”

What is a function?

One way to think of a function is as a machine that you put something into and will get a new result. The thing that you put into the machine is called the input, domain or x. While the result is called the output, range, or y. And the output is related somehow to the input. When it comes to functions we can think about them in many parts but there will always be three different parts; the input, the relationship, and the output.

Even though a function can be thought of like a machine, it really does not have any real life machine parts and nothing that we put into the machine is being destroyed. A function relates an input to an output. But a function has special rules: It must work for every possible input value and it has only one relationship for each input value. A function relates each element (number) of a set with exactly one element (number) of another set. (it can be possibly the same set).

For example:

Let’s say there is a tree that grows 20cm every year, so this means that the height of the tree is related to its age using the function h: h(age) = age x 20.

What is the difference between a function and a relation?

Functions are a sub-classification of relations. This means that while all functions can also be called a relation as they pair information, not all relations are functions. Compared to a relation, in a function; given a starting point, we know exactly where to go; given an x, we get only and exactly one y. For a relation to be a function, there must be only and exactly one y that corresponds to a given x.

The “Vertical Line Test”

When you are just looking a set of numbers or a tchart it can be quite easy to spot the numbers from the input that repeat and have a different output. However, when it comes to graphs, it can be more difficult to find out if it is a function or just a relation. A way to find if it is a function or relation is by looking at the given the graph of a relation if you can draw a vertical line that crosses the graph in more than one place, then the relation is not a function.