I was talking to my business school roommate, Marc Parrish, the other day and he told me about his girlfriend’s son’s 5th grade science project (which seemed too advanced for most parents, let alone kids!). I blogged about my son’s 5th grade Cloud Science Poster so I was blown away that the elementary schools in Silicon Valley assign kids to construct a Rube Goldberg machine as homework.
Luckily, my roommate Marc studied mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan, so he was exactly the right person to help! Together, Marc and Alex created this amazing Rube Goldberg machine which took about 2+ hours and used mostly common household materials.
Marc told me that Alex was assigned certain specifications. Their Rube Goldberg machine had to include four simple machines: a screw, lever, pulley and inclined plane. My son also studied simple machines as part of his 5th grade science curriculum but our school hires an outside company (paid for through the PTO) to come to his class for a hands on learning module.
Want more interesting links on Rube Goldberg machines to try this at home?
Tinkerlab: Rube Goldberg Machines
Teach Engineering: Splash, Pop, Fizz Rube Goldberg Machines
Rube Goldberg: Education Resources
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.
6 thoughts on “5th Grade Science Project: Rube Goldberg Machine”
Awesome! Rube Goldberg machines are really cool! 🙂
I’m glad you like it! I can’t believe it’s 5th grade homework though! That’s hard to do!
My son came across a rube goldberg video game at our local science museum and just loved it; then we found out it was an app he could download onto his Kindle. We’re slowly studying all about them using his curiosity and passion to guide us. This is perfect; thank you!
Hi Mother of 3,
I’m so glad you liked them. There are a ton of Rube Goldberg videos at the website: The Kid Should See This if he wants to see more. Maybe he will want to try building one himself too! 🙂
Mother of 3, I’m guessing you’re talking about the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest at COSI where they featured our Rube Works: The Official Rube Goldberg Invention Game. Thank you for downloading the game! It’s a lot of fun for Rube Goldberg fans who may not have the time to actually build a real-life machine.
More info on Rube Works at RubeWorks dot com or follow us on twitter: @RubeWorks
Hi David Fox,
Thanks so much for the heads up on your great Rube Goldberg Machine game! It sounds like fun! I’m sure my son would love it too!