Are you stuck at home and looking for something fun, easy, and science to do? I’m a big fan of Rube Goldberg machines and think this might be something to tie fun, easy, and science all together!
What is a Rube Goldberg machine though? Let’s start with Rube Goldberg, himself. He was an American Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer, and inventor, and his work is a classic example of the melding of art and science. Goldberg began his career as an engineer, and later became a cartoonist who drew elaborate illustrations of contraptions made up of pulleys, cups, birds, balloons, and watering cans that were designed to solve a simple task such as opening a window or setting an alarm clock. Interestingly, Goldberg only drew the pictures, and never built any of his inventions. However, these pictures have since served as inspiration for makers and builders who want the challenge of making wild inventions to solve everyday problems.
So, that is your challenge for today. Can you build a Rube Goldberg machine to solve a simple problem? Maybe you want to turn on a fan, pour a glass of water, knock over an item, catch something, turn on a light, pop a balloon, ring a bell etc.! The possibilities are endless.
For this challenge, there is no criteria or constraints. Use your creativity, ideas, thinking, and materials to create your own contraption!
Hints and Tips for Success
By: Clay Nolan, CA BOCES Learning Resources