Rube Goldberg Project


Created by: nicolecote

Activity Category: Simple & Compound Machines

Resource Category: Hands-On Activities/Labs

Activity Description: The students will construct a Rube Goldberg Project that consists of 6 machines of which they have to have 3 of the types of machines. They must complete a simple task. It is an individual project so each student must complete their own. They will be constructing it at home over a three week period. When it is their day to present they bring it in and describe the process and the types of machines they used. They may have help from other family members. Throughout the semester we study motion, energy and energy transformations. They must then relate how motion and energy is represented in their project by writing a one page paper also. They are referred to the edheads simple machines activity and also the odd/compound machines activity to help them with ideas for their projects.

Time required to do activity:
More than one hour

Time required to set up:
Less than 15 minutes

Time required to clean up:
Less than 15 minutes

Space needs:
The space required all depends on the space they need to set up the project when they bring it in.

Cost per class of 25 students:
The items they are using are all from their home.

Items needed and where to get them:
They could use all types of items that represent a simple machine. They can be purchased at a store or found lying around their house.

Activity Instructions:
Construct a Rube Goldberg Project based on 6 machines of 3 different types to do a specific task at the end.

Standards Type: Local Standards

Standards Explained:
Iowa Core Curriculum

Physical Science Essential Concepts And/Or Essential Skills Grades 6-8

Standard 2: Understand and apply knowledge of forms of energy and energy transfer
Benchmark 1: Energy is a property of many substances and is associated with heat, light, electricity, mechanical motion, sound, nuclei, and the nature of a chemical. Energy is transferred in many ways.

Standard 3: Understand and apply knowledge of motions and forces.
Benchmark 1: The motion of an object can be described by its position, direction of motion, and speed. That motion can be measured and represented on a graph.
Benchmark 2: An object that is not being subjected to a force will continue to move at a constant speed and in a straight line.
Benchmark 3: If more than one force acts on an object along a straight line, then the force will reinforce or cancel one another, depending on their direction and magnitude. Unbalanced forces will cause changes in speed or direction of an object’s motion.

Class Management and Safety Issues:
Some of the objects that they may use for their project include needles, nails, or pins as wedges.

Edheads recommends these products from Amazon:
KNEX Intro to Simple Machines
K’NEX Education – Intro To Simple Machines: Levers and Pulleys

Tags: Simple Machines

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Clearly written and easily understood
Meets standards listed
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Cost the amount estimated
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