Musical Chain Reaction Machine
In this challenge, you will recognize different simple machines that were used to create OK Go’s video for This Too Shall Pass. You will get a chance to create your own chain reaction machine, using the engineering design process that explores forces and motion.

Today’s Activities

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OK Go created this video by connecting a series of simple machines together, to create a single chain reaction machine, timed perfectly to their song.

Watch Ok Go’s This Too Shall Pass Rube Goldberg machine official video.


The OK Go video contains many simple machines and physics concepts. In this activity, you will explore both. 

Can you identify the simple machines in OK Go’s video? Take this Simple Machines Challenge.  

You can also explore some of the physics behind the chain reaction machine in OK Go’s video!. 

 Read about momentum.

  • What information would we need in order to calculate the momentum of the objects in the OK Go video? 

Watch this video about the physics of zip lining

This video also defines friction and how it applies to zip lining.  How does friction apply in OK Go’s chain reaction machine?

Try to figure out how to build a chain reaction machine with this fun game


Create your own chain reaction machine! Watch this video that explains your challenge.  Use things you already have around the house to construct a chain reaction that lasts 6, 15, or 22 seconds. As an added challenge, try to sync the motions of your machine with one of OK Go’s audio clips from their song “This Too Shall Pass”. .


Share a video of your chain reaction machine and the science concepts that apply. Once you have created a video of your chain reaction machine you can share it by uploading your video to this Google form.  You will be required to sign in with your school Google account in order to complete this form and submit. Before you share your video with us, be sure you have permission from a parent/guardian to do so.  Then, share the video link below!   Some will be featured on the TCSOS ELO site. 

Please upload videos by May 8, 2020 and check back to see if your video is featured!  Videos will be featured the week of May 11th

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