Who is Rube Goldberg, you may ask? Goldberg was a cartoonist in the 1930s and 40s, famous for “inventing” complicated machines designed to do extremely simple tasks. His cartoon drawings were popular in newspapers and the game Mousetrap is a good example of a Rube Goldberg machine.
Year 5-6 Learning Extension (LEX@R) students have been learning about work and simple machines. We have examined God’s plan for work, as well as work we consider to be “hard”. Students are designing a parent survey to ask them about work they do and how machines have made their work simpler – be ready to be approached by a LEX@R student asking these questions! Recently we have looked at the six simple machines and how they help us do our work.
We built inclined planes of various lengths and calculated the mechanical advantage of these ramps using Newton scales, weights, and Hot Wheels cars! Students discovered that there was definitely a greater advantage to a longer ramp.
Soon, students will be designing their own Rube Goldberg machines and are now in the process of collecting everyday and household objects to use in their machines. If you want to see some in action, watch the annual Rube Goldberg competition held among university engineering students. We were amazed at their ingenuity!
We look forward to seeing the creative and mechanical abilities of these students on display very soon.