Monday, April 6, 2015

Complex Machines and Rube Goldberg

At the end of this Simple Machines section of our Robotics Unit, we had a fun day learning about Rube Goldberg Machines and making our own! It was hard work, but the children were SO proud of themselves when they actually got one to work!

After talking about some of the ways simple machines can be put together, we read some of Rube Goldberg's actual cartoons from this book. Some of them are really hilarious. The children liked me reading the descriptions and pointing to each part.

There are tons of awesome and funny Rube Goldberg machines online. Some of our favorite videos (some less on-point than others):

This machine made by high school students is pretty fun

This is sort of silly, but it has Rube Goldberg himself in it

The children LOVED this one by OK Go

And this one was our absolute favorite!! We watched it over and over.

We also watched this strange and mesmerizing movie (no words, just the machine working until it finally fades out. There's no grand ending, but the children still wanted to watch it multiple times.)
There were complicated and messy contraptions all over the house for several days after this.

We decided to try to make a toothpaste-squeezing machine like the one the children made in this post. I left it totally in the boys' hands (Daisy and Junie were napping) and it took them most of the day with lots of frustration and failed attempts—but they finally made it work! They were so happy! 
And, just for fun, here is Seb with his homemade "jet engine"

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