activity page will offer:
A humorous approach to simple machines and the transfer
arena for creative cartooning
connection between art and science
hands-on experience in contraption building
Log onto http://www.rubegoldberg.com/html/gallery.htm
to view a variety of Rube Goldberg machines.
out the following diagram. As you can see, it begins with
a weight being dropped and ends with a bowling pin being
a "machine" that uses at least ten separate events to connect
the dropping of the weight to the knocking over of the bowling
pin. Be creative, and don't worry. You won't have to assemble
this wacky device!
How many separate steps did your machine have?
energy transformation occurs when the weight is released?
each step and describe the energy transformation that occurs.
2- A Crazy
your chance to actually dream up and build a complex machine
that performs a simple task.
rich assortment of construction materials
ideas and creative thoughts!
with a partner. Select any task listed here:
a. Turning on a computer.
b. Flipping a light switch.
c. Rolling a bowling ball.
d. Strumming a guitar.
Create a machine that would complete the task in no less
than three steps. Sketch out your design in a set of blueprints.
Compile a list of materials. Although the contraption should
be eccentric, it should be easy to build with everyday materials.
your blueprints and materials list with your instructor.
your instructor's approval, construct your Rube Goldberg
your final design with your classmates and discuss the design
National Rube Goldberg Contest
you're a high school student with an interest in competing
in the National Rube Goldberg Contest, check out: http://www.rubemachine.com/
Sites in locations including Milwaukee, Chicago and Pittsburgh
offer local competitions that lead to the national challenge.
Why not apply your Rube Goldberg creativity to designing a
watercraft? Here's the challenge: create the blueprints and
a materials list for a boat that is powered by a Rube Goldberg
engine. If you don't intend on constructing the craft, the
blueprints must include at least ten events. If you intend
on building it, then all you need are three steps. But the
completed craft must work!
Can you create a wacky time keeping device? Without using
a clock or electric motor, construct a time-keeping device.
Keep with the Rube Goldberg theme and make sure that the timekeeper
includes at least three separate and novel steps in its operation.
A wealth of information provided by the US Department of Energy.
Goldberg Contest Rules
Official contest rules posted by the University of Wisconsin
Information for students interested in competing in the National
Rube Goldberg Contest.
activities in this guide were contributed by Michael DiSpezio,
a Massachusetts-based science writer and author of "Critical
Thinking Puzzles" and "Awesome Experiments in Light & Sound"
(Sterling Publishing Co., NY).
Academic Advisors for this Guide:
Corrine Lowen, Science Department, Wayland Public Schools,
Suzanne Panico, Science Teacher Mentor, Cambridge Public Schools,
Anne E. Jones, Science Department, Wayland Middle School,