In many of our favorite activities, visitors to the Tinkering Studio often use materials in entirely new and surprising ways. For example, even though we've been doing Marble Machines for years and years, every once in a while someone will develop a elegant and revolutionary solution to a common problem.
Last week, Michael and Steven, two college students from Oregon, came up with an incredible way to use rubber bands to start a chain reaction that launched a second marble into a funnel all the way across the board. After spending some time working out the first contraption they worked for a couple hours figuring out how to catch the first marble in a second funnel which led to a bell at the bottom of the board.
Marble Machines continues to be a rewarding activity to be trying up in the tinkering studio because of these moments where people come up beautiful innovations that open up a whole other range of possibilities. These guys came up with a starting point that will inspire us to continue experimenting with switches and launchers on the marble board.