Design and Build a Rube Goldberg Machine
We’ve all seen the crazy chain-reaction contraptions called Rube Goldberg machines, named for the cartoonist who originated them as a parody of modern life. Now you can 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 also 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
Experience the creative side of engineering by designing and building Rube Goldberg devices.
Return to the Sally Ride Science Junior Academy 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.
Note: Upon successful enrollment of a section, students will receive a confirmation email from our Student Services team. This email will include a link to an authorization form that is required to be completed within 72-hours of enrollment.
In response to COVID-19 health guidelines, we have restructured our in-person Junior Academy workshops as online courses. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Course Number: ENG-90021
Credit: 1.50 unit(s)