Garver Chain Reaction Challenge

Your Garver STEM Kit

As one of 100 schools selected to receive a Garver STEM kit donation, you are now a part of Garver’s first 100 years of positive momentum—a link in a chain reaction. We hope this hand-on experience sparks an interest in you to explore engineering-related activities and learn about this exciting career that blends science, creativity, and problem solving.

With your STEM kit, you can create a machine that accomplishes a menial task in a complicated way. We also encourage you to use additional items beyond those provided in the Garver Chain Reaction STEM kit. 

Need ideas? Check out videos from the #GarverChainReaction Challenge winners.

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Get to know your STEM kit

Get to know your STEM kit

From ramps and balls to a rubber mallet, a sink strainer, and a DC motor, brainstorm the engineering possibilities for each item.

Find inspiration

Find inspiration

Search the internet to discover what others have created. Watch videos of Chain Reactions and Rube Goldberg Machines.

Think outside the box

Think outside the box

Use everyday objects, recycled items, and whimsical toys to make your chain reaction contraption amazing. 

Garver Centennial

Tinker with Toppling

Words to know:

Row – dominoes balanced on their ends in a line

Curve – a smoothly flowing line with no sharp edges

Corner – the shape formed by a 90-degree angle

Topple – a chain reaction fall initiated by only touching the first object

Tasks:

  1. Topple a row of 20 dominoes
  2. Build and topple a row that creates a V-shape
  3. Build and topple a row that curves
  4. Build and topple a row in that forms a circle
  5. Build and topple a row that turns a corner
  6. Build and topple a row that has two corners and a curve
Garver Centennial

Fiddle with Force

Words to know:

Force – the strength or energy as an attribute of physical action or movement

Speed – how fast or slow an object is moving

Mass – the amount of matter or substance that makes up an object

Tasks:

  1. Build a single ramp and roll a steel ball, golf ball, ping pong ball, and bouncy ball. Which one rolls farthest?
  2. How does changing the angle of the ramp affect the distance?
  3. Roll a ball down the ramp to knock over a wooden block. Which ball could knock it down?
Garver Centennial

Dabble with Drops

Words to know:

Gravity – a force which tries to pull two objects toward each other

Lever – a rigid bar resting on a pivot, a simple machine used to help move a heavy or firmly fixed load with one end when pressure is applied to the other

Fulcrum – the point on which a lever rests or is supported and on which it pivots

Catapult – a machine worked by a lever for hurling large objects

Tasks:

  1. Build an element that causes the monster truck to roll down a ramp and off the table
  2. Add an element that makes the falling truck cause something else to fall or move
  3. Build a lever that launches an object

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