Ask anyone who was in OAC (Ontario’s old grade 13) Chem class at OTHS and they can tell you both horror stories and fond memories of building the term project. As a veteran of two, yes two, years of OAC chem – I didn’t like my first grade so I up-graded, I was NOT a failure! – I have many a memory. In all honesty, most of my OAC Chem memories are from the first go around, this could be because I enjoyed my group the first time more so than the second time, therefore I like to pretend there was only that one year.
Right, the term project! Here was the basic layout: every team had a golf ball, and this golf ball had to be raised 30 cm and returned to the start point, being 100% powered by chemical reactions. Now, that might seem relatively simply, however, there was a catch. On the day of testing Mr. Bird would post a time, between 2 and 5 minutes, on the board, and you had to have the entire thing completed WITHIN a 5 second variance. Hence this qualified as a fantastic term project, and in all honesty, far more challenging than anything I had to complete the rest of my educational career, including my 4.5 years at Dalhousie University completing my Biology degree. For the record, my team was dead on the time, one of very few times a team managed that!
Now what lead to this flashback you ask? Why the Rube Goldburg Machine that starts in Ok Go‘s video for their song This Too Shall Pass. If you haven’t seen this video yet, you really need to watch it. For this very reason here it is: