The Maker Lab is a safe space for ideas and a wild place for creations. To start off the year, we used simple machines and mastered building techniques. In our very first class each student built their own small contraption, relying on fundamental mechanics such as pulleys and ramps. Together, we put all of the creations into a series, so that knocking over the dominoes pushed the ball that hit the string that triggered a pulley that, well, you get the idea. We built a Rube Goldberg machine! What is the point of a Rube Goldberg machine? It is to make a simple task complicated, using a chain reaction, and to have fun doing it.

Using only 75 Popsicle sticks and glue we have built bridges in the classroom. Next week we will put our engineering to the test, and see how much weight each of them can support before collapsing. Then we get to talk about how different structures responded differently to the stress and why.

Following the evolution of human innovation, we will work our way through increasingly exciting and complex technologies, so that by the end of the course we will be working on electronics and 3D printing. In the meantime, we will continue designing, building, testing, fixing, working together, and learning.

– Kurtis Baute