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Upper El (Mr. D): Rube Goldberg

It's been a wild couple of weeks in UE. We've been balancing between two projects: our stories and our final engineering project.

To remind you, our engineering project is to build Rube Goldberg machines with a connection to our body systems unit. We made six categories that all our body systems fit within. They were Transporting Materials; Fueling with Energy; Protection and Defense; Sensing, Signaling, and Regulating; Removal of Waste; and Structure and Movement.

How does that work into a Rube Goldberg machine? Well, a couple of these were gimmes. All of these machines transport some material (marbles mostly) from one place to another. Check! They all have some structure. Check! Now, the others. To show protection and defense, the marble could pass through a tunnel or be surrounded by toothpicks to "ward off invaders."

The most fun was watching them think of Sensing and Signaling. Seeing one marble trigger a different marble on a new track was great. Students worked hard this week to finish their builds and get things set.

Thursday, we tested the majority of our projects with great success. There were some really cool and different ideas implemented across the various groups. This is always a lot of fun, and UE nailed it!

Friday, we began getting things ready for our conferences next week, where we're letting our students run the show. At least at the start. They're pulling together work samples and reflecting on their year and the year ahead. It's always hard to reflect on our own work, but it's also a great perspective to view as a teacher. We have a short week next week and an even shorter week after that. Feels unreal that we're almost at the end of another great year!

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