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Fantastic Machines in Science!

01 April 2016

Some may know them as Heath Robinson contraptions, some may know them as Rube Goldberg machines. Whatever you call them they are crazy devices that serve very little practical purpose! Some of these have been made famous in the Honda advert ‘The Cog’ and the OKGO! Music video ‘This too shall pass!’ These magnificent machines are always complicated masterpieces that are designed to do a very simple job in the most convoluted way possible. They rely on scientific understanding, practical skill, creativity, teamwork, determination and resilience and are thus an excellent way for us to learn a range of personal skills whilst also thinking about a huge range of scientific ideas. 

  • Boarding school and day school students take part in Global Campus | Regents International School Pattaya
  • Boarding school and day school students take part in Global Campus | Regents International School Pattaya

As part of our latest Global Campus Challenge-Based Learning adventure, students started off making small machines that worked on their own, and then had time to try and link the smaller machines in to one large machine. Our KS3 scientists covered topics as broad as friction, pulleys, gravity, pendulums, gradients, hydraulics, center of mass and inertia all through the manufacture of these machines, and everyone was very impressed with their work! The largest of these was achieved by Year 8, whose machine had an incredible 36 individual components that came together to simply make some Mentos fall in to a cola bottle. The resulting reaction was a sight to be seen!

The resilience shown by the students to achieve this feat was excellent, and their efforts will now be submitted to Nord Anglia Education Global Campus staff for judging. Well done to all concerned who showed such great creativity, problem solving and perseverance!