We’ve all seen the crazy chain-reaction contraptions called Rube Goldberg machines. Explore the creative side of engineering by designing and building your own Rube Goldberg devices.
We will start with a broad look at the principles of mechanics and design and go over measurement and hand-tool use. Then, students will design and build interactive machines where a simple push starts a chain reaction of pulleys, dominoes and so much more. As the week progresses, our designs will become more complex, culminating in a grand finale chain reaction on the last day. Ultimately, we will see how these devices, which waste time and energy to accomplish simple tasks, can be a vehicle for engineering ingenuity and artistic expression.
What You Will Learn
Students in Elementary School: Rube Goldberg Engineering will:
Return to the Sally Ride Science website here.
- Receive safety instruction
- Learn the basics of mechanics and thermodynamics
- Gain an understanding of what a chain reaction is and why we want to learn about this concept
- Design and experiment with mechanisms for transferring energy from one place to another
- Learn about hypothesis testing and the scientific method
- Take a historical look at failure and examine how failure has led to success
- Design, build and test a variety of Rube Goldberg machines
Course Number: ENG-90031
Credit: 1.50 unit(s)