Rube Goldberg mini lessons

Session 1 (mini lesson)

In this session of design, we were split into class groups to complete the simple machine mini lessons. This would help us to understand what and how we could use simple machines in our term long Rube Goldberg machines.

First, 5A went to the KNEX station. We had a book to choose out what we were going to build, and there were big tubs of KNEX to choose from. Depending on what your instructions said, determents what pieces you use. My group chose a scale. It was a big tower with a horizontal structure at the top, and two small platforms hanging off the structure to weigh things on. Here is a video of my group building the scale.





I think I could use this simple machine in my Rube Goldberg machine by making it start off my machine. I would put something light on one end, (the one continuing on to the rest of the machine) and drop something heavy on the other end, which would cause the light thing to fling off, hopefully hitting something else, and so on.

Where next?

In the next session, I am going to move to the next simple machine station, which is making a fully functioning pulley. I am really enjoying this so far!

Session 2 (mini lesson)

Today, 5A moved on to the pulley activity. We paired up, and discussed how we were going to build the pulleys. There was a single pulley, a double pulley, and a quadruple pulley. Each one was slightly different, but the only thing that parted them would be the direction of the rope that we used to connect it all together. We were told to keep in mind that we would have to find a place to hang the simple machine.

We had some wire, a plastic cup and some rollers. The wire was very soft, so it was easy to bend.

Here are some videos of me and my group building the pulley, we also built the double pulley. You will have to press open on the note at the bottom of your screen.

pulleys 1-23f9emv


pulleys 2-2jmceoj


I think I could use this simple machine in my Rube Goldberg machine by making something like a golf ball roll into it, and the other side would lift up, and maybe hit a lever and fulcrum., that would set something else off.

Where next?

In the next lesson of design, we will be moving on to the Lego simple machine station.

Session 3 (mini lesson)

This session was the last mini lesson of the simple machine set. Again, we paired up with different people, and got one persons laptop. The instructions were on a file on our laptops. Because there were two groups before us, there weren’t many exact¬†Lego pieces. Most of the groups spent quite a while looking for the right pieces, especially my group. Because we couldn’t find most of the pieces, we didn’t get to finish our build,¬†we only got to¬†briefly start he simple machine.

At the end, everyone was hoping to¬†connect all of our simple machines (only the Lego) to make a big Rube Goldberg machine. But unfortunately, we didn’t get up to that.

I really enjoyed the simple machines mini lessons, and I felt it help me understand how and why we need simple machines.


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