best viewed with Broadband Connection, W98 or
better, & with Windows Media Player 7 or better)
Choose a Partner
wait until the last minute (November) to choose your
partner. It needs to be someone who doesn't live
TOO FAR AWAY!
Remember that parents have to provide
the transportation and if your partner is on the other
side of the county, then your parents will NOT be pleased!
Develop a PLAN!
In early October
we'll choose partners and
begin the design work for the project. There are lots of videos and still photographs, so you'll be able to see what students have done on the project in years past.
It wouldn't hurt
for you to begin collecting items that you think
might work -- toy parts, pulleys, a bit of lumber
for the back board and feet, and ball bearings or
marbles. Check out the guidelines to the
right for ideas.
music, a mouse trap that sets off a parachuted
toy figure -- these will all yield bonuses that
add extra points to your project.
Test Your Project!
you think you have it working perfectly -- pack it up,
move it to a new location, and see if it will
STILL WORK! Many, many times students bring their
project to school only to be disappointed that it DOESN'T
WORK the way they thought it would at home.
This series of six balloon popper videos features projects created by students in February of 2007.
NOTE: Videos of 2009 balloon poppers are available in the Flash Viewer on the web site front page.
Balloon Popper Project (Yes,
you can work with a partner!)
design, and construct a chain reaction (domino effect) of simple
machines that will transport a marble through a series of tracks &
simple machines from start to finish -- with the final action (or
somewhere along the way) setting off a sequence that will pop one or more
balloons. If time permits, after one unsuccessful attempt of
transporting the marble, a second attempt will be allowed. Remember
that a series of connected inclined planes with no other device in between
only counts as one machine. (Small balloons blown up tightly pop
GRADE: You may end
up spending a LOT of time on this project. Your grade, however, is
not based on the time you spend -- it is based on how productive you are!
Two grades will be given: 1) for the chain reaction machine and 2)
for the poster. Grades for the chain reaction machine will be determined
by the number of different simple machines that successfully transport
e, the creativity used, and whether the marble was able to pop
the balloon at the end of its travel.
6 simple machines: = D grade
simple machines = C grade
10 simple machines = B grade (extra machines
= 3 points each)
or more machines = A grade (extra balloons = 3
points ea. up to 10; >10 = 1 pt. each)
Balloon Popper project may be done alone or with a partner. The partners
should live near each other and be responsible for doing 1/2 of the work.
Choose your partner well; sometimes your best friend would be your worst
partner for a major project. PARENTS should be aware of the partner
choice AND give their approval since the partners will need to spend a
lot of time together at someone’s house. PARENTS should use their
judgment and supervise the use of any power tools. PARENTS should
feel free to operate any power tool you feel is unsafe for your child’s
use. PARENTS, please remember that this is your child’s project,
not yours! Planning and assembly should be done strictly by your
child. Materials used should be those found around the house or purchased
inexpensively at hobby shops. No potentially dangerous materials
will be allowed. (NO confetti, chemicals, water, sand, electricity, etc.)
POSTER: The project
will be accompanied by a labeled drawing (1/2 of a poster sheet) of the
1) parts, 2) identifying and listing the simple machines used, and
3) giving a step-by-step “cookbook” listing of the actions taken by the
marble as it progresses through the machine. This drawing will not
be accepted without the partner(s) names. Be neat, use a straight
edge, make your lettering neat & readable, and print all writing.
(NOTE: Use a word processor. Its printing is neater than yours!)
PARTNERS: You may work alone or with
one partner. You may work with someone from another science class
DIMENSIONS: No Larger
Than -- 12” deep x 24” wide x 36” high. All structures
must be securely attached to the base by way of nails, glue, tape, staples,
or screws so that when you bring it to school, the structure does not fall
apart. The idea here is to keep it small & compact. Base
must contain a 3”x 5” index card containing project makers’ names &
class period. (NOTE:
points off if it is 12" or more too tall; 25 points
off if it is 12" or more too wide; 25 points
off if it is 12" or more too deep --
There simply is not enough room in the classroom for
MATERIALS: No hazardous
materials allowed. The project needs to be sturdy enough for repeated
trials and to survive being transported to school on the due date.
Wood, heavy cardboard, and even stiff Styrofoam boards have been used successfully.
NOTE: You may not build this structure totally from parts belonging
to one toy set. Project will be disallowed if 40% or more of
the working parts (ramps, funnels, paddle wheels, levers, etc.) are from
a single toy set. Double-side projects are OK. NOTE: You may NOT use electricity,
battery power, solar power, chemicals, compressed gas,
fire, water, or explosives. All of the "power"
in your balloon popper must come from gravity or the
stored and potential energy of rubber bands or springs
(as in a mouse trap).
POSTER: 18” x 24” or (1/2
poster board size). NOTE: Full-size posters will NOT be accepted!
Here is what you need to have on the poster: 1) Neatly lettered title; 2) A drawing of your apparatus showing all machines. Each machine must be labeled individually. Don't use a code system; 3) A list of all simple machines used in the correct order; 4) A
section describing what happens in the proper sequence; 5) A note card on the bottom left or right giving the names of the students who built the popper & their class periods.
the Chain Reaction Balloon Popper: 6
simple machines = D; 8 = C; 10 = B; 12 = 93 ( A- ).
All projects MUST be able to successfully pop a balloon during the marble’s
travel. You get 2 free tries -- others subtract from your score (
- 8 for each additional try beyond 2 ); extra balloons popped
= + 3 for balloons # 2 - 10. Beyond 10 balloons
= 1 point each.
CHALLENGES for 2009: 1) Early Bird Bonus = 10 pts. if you bring in
board + poster on Thursday, Feb. 19th
2) Perfect Run = 25 pts. (machine works
perfectly on 1st try) 3)
Gears = 10 pts. ( 1 set of two connected and fully functioning gears in
(extra gears = 5
pts. per set) 4)
All 6 Simple Machines = 10 pt. bonus if you include ALL 6 simple
machines listed in pictures above. Vehicles = 2 axles (worth 6 points). 5)
Parachute Launch = 15 pts. (the movement of a marble or ball bearing can
launch a toy figure up & away from your popper board thatparachutes to the floor (parachute
must open!) 6)
Music = 10 pts. (the marble or ball bearing hits a bell or rings a
chime, causing MUSIC to be heard! (extra music = 5 pts. each; limit = 3) 7) Pop Out Sign
= 10 points (limit = 2) (-50 points for inappropriate message or theme) 8)
New Invention = 15 pt. bonus (if you invent something new that Mr. C.
has never seen!) 9) Take Home
Bonus = 10 pts. If you take board home by specified deadline
the Poster:Based on layout & design,
neatness, & completeness of information . Ask to see examples
from previous years if in doubt about format or layout. (Title, drawing
with labeled machines, list of simple machines in the order in which they occur, step-by-step,
DEADLINE: (November 16) by 7:45 a.m. in Mr. Clauset’s room.
(No late projects will be accepted. If absent on project due date,
you must turn in your project the day you return.) --- Bring LOTS
of extra balloons & ball bearings or marbles! Remember that both your
poster and the base of your project must display the project makers’ names
& class period. Run tests (5-10) on your project to see if it
works the way you think it will. Bring a checklist with you so that
you can set it up properly.
This is not exactly a balloon popper, but it has some amazing stunts done by marbles. The video is long at 12 minutes 54 seconds and the singing is in Japanese -- but the various marble setups are just AMAZING!
The Honda Accord video entitled "Cog"
looks certain to become an advertising legend.
Six hundred and six takes it took, and if they had
been forced to do a 607th it is probable, if not downright certain,
that one of the film crew would have snapped and gone mad.
the first 605 occasions something small, usually infuriatingly
minute, went just slightly awry and the whole delicate arrangement
was wrecked. A drop too much oil there, or here maybe one
ball-bearing too many giving a fraction too much impetus to the
movement. Whirr, creak, crash, the entire, card-house of
consequences was a write-off and they had to start again.
Honda's latest television advertisement, a two-minute film
called "Cog", is like a fine-lubricated line of dominoes.
It begins with a transmission bearing which rolls into a synchro hub
which in turn rolls into a gear wheel cog and plummets off a table
on to a camshaft and pulley wheel. All the parts are from the 2005
Honda Accord - £16,495 to you, guv'nor, or £6 million if you
want to pay for the advertising campaign. And what an amazing ad
campaign it is, too.