DIY Rube Goldberg Tabletop Machine and go on a Simple Machine Scavenger Hunt!
Hosted by: Science Mill
Visit our Booth: Sunday, February 28, 2021, 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Recommended Grades: All
Take a virtual tour of the Science Mill! Locate the Incredible Ball Machine in the Science & Art Park, launch the Explorer Zone Video to learn about the physics and engineering behind the exhibit before joining us in the learning lab to discover ways to make your own tabletop Rube Goldberg Machines.
Written directions can be found below the tour on this page.
Be an inventor and engineer: create your own Rube Goldberg Machine - a silly chain reaction using objects you find around your house!
You can use anything - be creative!! We used:
- Bouncy ball
- Paper towel & toilet paper tubes
- Foam blocks
- Toy cars
- Wooden blocks
- Building blocks
- Gather your materials and decide on a safe place to work on building your machine. You can build on the floor, on a table, or have your machine be multi-levels from the table to a chair and then to the floor! Pick a place that will not be disturbed by pets or younger, curious siblings - this will take some setup and trial and error time.
- Decide what your end goal or task will be - a ball or toy car dropping into a cup or box, an object being knocked down, ringing a bell, a cup of water spilling into a plant, a cup of dog food pouring into its bowl, etc. The possibilities are endless!
- Start building! Our suggestion….set up a small section at a time and test it! If you build the whole thing before testing small sections it can lead to frustration. Build it a section at a time, testing & making corrections as you go. We tried 5 different ways to start our Rube Goldberg invention before we got it working the way we wanted it to.
This project will require some time as well as trial and error and you will experience some failures. But that's ok! Scientists work through the scientific method or engineering design process and have to test, make adjustments, and test again, then repeat!! Making a mistake or having an experiment fail is ok - as long as you do not give up. Make improvements and try it again - that is how you learn!
So fail your way to success then send us your own Rube Goldberg machine videos to firstname.lastname@example.org
Go on a scavenger hunt! Click the link above and download the PDF. Happy hunting!
Can you complete the chart with 3 examples of each simple machine? Fill in the chart as you look around your house, visit a garden or your backyard and think of the tools used, or make observations as you go for a walk in the neighborhood. Then for each type of simple machine, choose 1 example that you found to draw & explain how it works!!