Investigations Database
 

Rube Goldberg Machine

Posted on Sep 13 2017 by Doaa George

Tags: physics, year 7-8, year 9-10, engineering, energy, mechanics

Experiment Overview

A “Rube Goldberg” machine is a device designed to do something simple in an over-complicated and over-engineered way. It is normally a chain of smaller machines which link together to form one huge device. The expression is named after American cartoonist and engineer Rube Goldberg (1883–1970). 

This experiment is a fun and effective way to teach students about different types of mechanical energy. It provides a hands on experience of energy transfer and transformation, varying types of energy and conservation of energy.

Students will apply their knowledge in designing their own Goldberg machine, which has to include both energy transfers and transformations. This is a particularly engaging investigation as the task really allows students to use their creativity.

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