The Grade 5 science classes just finished their unit on simple machines (such as levers, screws, pulleys, ramps) – and they’ve created some amazing contraptions! If you get a chance to stop by Mr. Devenish’s office or Ms. Wallis’s classroom you might be able to see how some of them work.
A few groups will be using what they’ve learned to compete in a competition that Ms. Wallis is setting up: build a Rube-Goldberg Machine. What’s that, you ask? It’s a contraption, invention, device, or apparatus that is deliberately over-engineered or overdone to perform a very simple task in a very complex fashion, usually including a chain reaction. The expression is named after American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg.
Have a look at the following video to see Kermit the Frog explain how using a little imagination (and some sound scientific principles) can lead to a mesmerizing, entertaining, and funny complex machine made up of lots of simple machines (s0 long as all the parts work . . .)
Ok – so maybe Kermit’s device wasn’t super successful. But you get the idea. If you’d like to watch some truly amazing Rube-Goldberg machines in action, click here to visit the website Cool Material, or on the picture below. Sooooooooooooooooo cool!
Also, click here check out the MIT Museum’s website, where you can watch videos of their “Chain Reaction” competitions from the last several years. Very creative!