I packed my car with what looked like the remnants of a large Rube Goldberg contraption which is pretty much what they were: dozens of 2x4 pieces of wood; marbles, basketballs and bowling balls; a remote control car; various tubes; and several rolls of duct tape.
My favorite aspect of the Chain Reaction activity -- besides highlighting important aspects of a maker mindset including curiosity, creativity with familiar and unfamiliar materials, teamwork, and perseverance -- is the energy in the room. There is a constant buzz as people explore materials, discuss ideas, and go through a process of trial and error. We see the same thing when we work with our students and the outcomes are also similar. As with many things in life, the process is more important than the product. But we also strive for a great product. And you can see, and hear, the excitement in the room in the video above. It's amazing what can be accomplished in a short amount of time (in this case, 30 minutes) by a group of people working as a team with a clear goal and manageable constraints.
— Tatian Greenleaf