While researching to complete set tasks for this subject, I came across an idea that was new and interesting to me; it involved students working together on a project, enthusiastically and thoughtfully. If you have ever come across any Rube Goldberg videos, you will know what I mean.
My interpretation of a Rube Goldberg activity is that it involves creating a longwinded sequence of activities, used to perform a relatively simple task. Reuben Garrett Lucius “Rube” Goldberg was an American cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer, and inventor.
There are extensive Rube Goldberg competitions throughout the world which now pay tribute to his creative career; and his legacy can also be viewed in some films that make use of the Rube Goldberg machine concept – like ‘Edward Scissorhands’, ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids’.
What drew me in even more, however, was watching examples of a Rube Goldberg project in action; as students worked out, collaboratively, what worked and what didn’t, in creating a simple but complicated machine. That teachers have now developed a sequence of lessons and ideas from this concept was even more interesting… A ‘Rube Goldberg’ style experiment is one which promotes engagement, and involves groups in elements of design, collaboration, creativity and problem solving.