Cinnamon Toast Crunchers

Palmetto Elementary School’s Energy Transfer Machine

Team Members: Bianca C.- 4th Grade, Jaayla F.- 4th Grade, Brandon T.- 4th Grade, Anna D. -5th Grade, Adrian R.- 5th Grade, and Joseph L.- 5th Grade

Palmetto ES’s very first ETM was built by 4th graders Brandon, Bianca, Jaayla and 5th graders Adrian, Joseph and Anna to pour milk into a cereal bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch! The first mechanism was a zipline. The idea was Bianca’s. The next idea was dominoes but we needed a way to start the dominoes movement, so we had to use the tennis ball (filled with marbles to make it heavy) inside of a cup to trigger the books that came next.

Next, we built in a lot of transfers and had a whole lot of failed starts causing gaps in the progression of our machine. We wrote and rewrote our plans a lot during this phase of building. We also struggled to get around the corner due to the shape of the room and to maintain the height required to use the force of gravity. We built triggers out of rules with marbles glued to both ends that were able to move because of K’Nex attached to the wall. The triggers started the car which drove down the track toward the scale. This was our biggest hurdle.

Originally we had a balloon that was filled with marbles over a funnel made from a 2L bottle of soda that would be popped by using a pin on a piece of balsa wood. This worked for weeks. I still don’t know if the balloons changed or the pin dulled but all of the sudden, after building on a bunch more transfers it stopped working. So we made the balsa wood into an arm that triggered a golf ball to be pushed out the side of the funnel. The golf ball was attached to a ribbon that helped keep 8-10 marbles from falling out of the funnel. Once the golf ball was knocked it caused the mables to fall down the funnel and go down the run we attached to the wall. The run goes into a tunnel made of toilet paper tubes and knocks into dominoes.

The dominoes fall off of the table into a cub triggering another scale to pull a ruler (that is caught by a small piece of foam) up knocking four more marbles into the run that is on the table. At the end of the run the marbles fall off the table again but this time into a bucket held up by the roof. The pulley rolls the canister down the incline plane into blocks increasing in size which trigger the button (Take 2 AA batteries) that says “‘Blasted with Cinnadust!” and blows the rocket into the milk jug sitting on an incline plane suppling our cereal with delicious milk.

We are extremely proud of our Cinnamon Toast Crunch provider but we could not get all components working in the same video. We have uploaded our longest successful run on video as proof of all our hard work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *