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Creating Like Rube Goldberg

January 26, 2017
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Rube Goldberg had a knack of making simple things complex.

Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist that received a Pulitzer Prize for his political cartooning.  He was also known for making simple activities complex and convoluted.  They are fun to watch unfold.  Anyone who has played “Mousetrap” will agree that have the fun is putting the game together to catch the mouse.  Wallace and Gromit do a great job of taking ordinary things and mechanizing it.

Image result for wallace and gromit

Wallace and Gromit make amazingly funny contraptions.

Wallace and Gromit

When you assign this project, be sure your students / children understand what is the goal.

  • Show them some examples of the cartoon drawing or this video has some great ideas to use as a springboard.
  • Perhaps you’ll want to brainstorm some ideas together.
  • Gathering up items from around the house helps ideas to percolate.  Like tennis balls, rubber bands, miniature cars are things you may have that can easily be incorporated into a moving model.
  • Be sure that your creator knows not to use anything that put them or others in harms way.
  • If they are having a hard time getting started, sometimes starting at the end point, their goal, helps.
  • The assignment can be make a 3-D model (which might require more time) or just a fun drawing that is labeled for each step.

If your students / child really get into this, there are contests for making the most complex machine.

My students thoroughly enjoyed doing this assignment!

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