Rube Goldberg Challenge with Digi-Bridge

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RUBE GOLDBERG (1883-1970) was an inventor, sculptor, author, engineer and cartoonist. Rube is best known for the zany contraptions he drew in a carton with a character called Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts.

These inventions, also known as Rube Goldberg Machines, solved a simple task in the most overcomplicated, inefficient, and hilarious way possible.

A Rube Goldberg machine is any complex contraption that uses a chain reaction to perform a simple task. Combine many simple machines to build one with your family!

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Watch this for inspiration: 

When you finish your machine, post a video on social media and challenge another family to participate in this fun STEAM exercise. Show us what you create: tag @digibridgeus and use #rgwithdb, or email [email protected].

Get Going!

  1. START AT THE END
    Identify the task you want to achieve. Think of something simple like knocking a book over, popping a balloon, or pouring cereal into a bowl.
  2. MAKE A PLAN
    Think through a series of at least three actions that will complete your task and build from there. Consider easy ideas like sending a marble down a tube or making dominoes fall. Draw out rough plans for what you hope will happen. The most important action is the first step since that will start the entire machine. How creative can you get?
  3. GATHER YOUR MATERIALS
    You can use almost anything to create your Rube Goldberg machine. Here are some ideas: dominoes, cardboard tubes, magnets, tape, marbles, cups or bowls, string, toy cars, and spinning toys.
  4. PIECE BY PIECE
    Follow your plan and place your materials where you think they need to be. Your Rube Goldberg machine may not work perfectly the first time you try it and that’s okay. Inventors keep trying new ideas and making adjustments. You’ll get it to work and then you can show the world your cool idea!

More about Rube Goldberg Machines from our friends at Sesame Street:

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