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Energizing Everything    Mystery 5

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Can you build a chain reaction machine?

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Beginning Exploration (1 of 2)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Exploration (2 of 2)
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Beginning Activity Prep
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Beginning Activity: Build a Chain Reaction (Part II)
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Optional Extras

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity and exploration you just completed.
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Watch and Discuss

This video will show you that ramps, rolling balls, and falling sticks can do some amazing tricks. Here are things to watch for and talk about.

  • Ways to start balls rolling. (Some may surprise you!)
  • Ramps that are levers. (What makes them move?)
  • Unexpected ways to add energy to a rolling ball

Does this video give you ideas for your own chain reaction?

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Inspiration for Chain Reaction Builders

Here are some images and short videos to get you thinking.

  • Dominoes: Many objects can serve as dominoes.
  • Rollers: Marbles are only one kind of roller.
  • Ramp #1: A binder makes a great ramp.
  • Ramp #2: Make custom ramps from cardstock.
  • Ramp #3: Two rulers make a ramp.
  • Ramp #4: Make marble ramps on your bulletin board.
  • Other Ideas: Doug and Pat talk through adding steps to their chain reaction machine.

What ideas do you have for using everyday objects in your chain reaction?

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Dominoes

Use LEGO bricks, cassette tapes, wooden blocks, or books.

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Rollers

Use a plastic egg, a roll of tape, a toy car, a rubber ball, or even a marker.

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Ramp #1

A binder becomes a ramp when a falling domino yanks out the support that keeps it level.

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Ramp #2

Use cardstock to make a ramp that fits your roller.

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Ramp #3

With two yardsticks, we made a ramp for a plastic egg.

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Ramp #4

With cardstock and pushpins, make a marble run on the bulletin board.

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Readings about Engineering Design

Newsela offers readings about engineering design, free with registration. Here are three great readings and links to more.

Check out more readings on defining problems, developing possible solutions, and testing and refining your design with Newsela's text sets.

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