Rube Goldberg Machines

7th Grade Enrichment

Wednesday, April 13th

Who Is Rube Goldberg?

What is a Rube Goldberg Machine?

A machine that does a simple task in a complicated way.

Rube Goldberg designs are meant to show the unnecessary complexities in machines, which sometimes result from modern technology.
OK Go - This Too Shall Pass - Rube Goldberg Machine - Official Video
MythBusters Rube Goldberg Machine :
Sesame Street: Rube Goldberg Machines!

Wednesday, April 20th

Plan out your Rube Goldberg Machine

Planning Instructions

  1. In groups of four, have student engineering teams decide on simple tasks to create machines for, intended audiences, and any information they know that will help them solve the problem.
  2. Each group must create a machine that has at least 7 steps.
  3. With every group member contributing ideas, have students brainstorm ideas about how they will accomplish the simple task (such as getting a marble in a cup one meter away) in an overly complex way. Remind them that they must use at least three simple machines in their final designs.
  4. Next, have each team collectively produce machine drawings that include dimensions.
  5. Have teams include materials lists, including any special-request materials.
  6. Teams show their designs and materials lists to the teacher for approval.
  7. Have students make design alterations if not immediately approved. After approval, make the design more specific or the drawing more detailed as other groups finish up their designs.

I will supply glue and construction paper. Any supplies beyond that (including tape) will need to be supplied by the group!