Rube Goldberg

Take a look at this example of what can be achieved by building a complicated machine to complete a simple task. While you're watching it, take note of how many simple machines are used.

Today your task will be to build a complicated machine to complete a simple task. You will be placed in groups of 3, one from each homeroom.

The Challenge

The task you need to complete is to put a piece of rubbish in the bin. Your machine needs to include at least 3 different simple machines.


In your group, you need to design your machine carefully, including all components you wish to incorporate, a materials list, note any forces at work and explain what the aim of the machine is. Complete the design on the big piece of paper. After testing parts, if you need to make any changes, make annotations to your design in a different colour, and explain why you had to make those changes.

Documenting the Process

While the building and testing process is happening, someone should be always filming or taking still images of what is happening. You can do a time-lapse video (ipad) as well as taking stills. We suggest that one person does the stills and sends them to the other group members at the completion of the challenge.

Putting it altogether

At the completion of the challenge putting together a presentation will enable you to show the process you went through, as well as what you have learnt. You can use a range of online tools and apps to do this. You will also need to do a blog post. You will need to create a new post called "Rube Goldberg", which you will add to as the term goes along. You might be able to embed your digital presentation into your blog post.

Good luck and have fun!!!


Created with images by medea_material - "máquina rube goldberg." • Unsplash - "matterhorn switzerland mountain" • Unsplash - "pattern background patterns tiles" • Arne Hendriks - "The Breakfast Machine" • wilhei - "puzzle match fit" • Alexas_Fotos - "smile joy happy"

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