Seventh Graders Create Rube Goldberg Machines
The Middle School’s annual Rube Goldberg day proved to be a resounding, albeit messy, success again this year.
As students scrambled to put the finishing touches on their sprawling creations—pie splattering machines made of everyday objects—the energy was palpable, and the faculty trepidation at receiving a pie in the face only fueled that energy.
Now in its fifth year, the Rube Goldberg event has had a dynamic effect on the science curriculum, allowing students a chance to work collaboratively on a fun project while still focusing on relevant physics and science ideas.
“The concept and creation of Rube Goldberg machines actually sets us up quite nicely for the other topics we study in seventh grade science: energy, structures and rocketry (Newton’s Laws),” says Middle School Science Chair Wendy Svatek.
“Every year, we spend time in class learning about Rube Goldberg and preparing for the day a few weeks ahead of the event,” Svatek says. “There’s always terrific energy in the classroom as students brainstorm materials and tasks and discuss ideas for each step of the machine.”
Named after cartoonist Rube Goldberg’s famous drawings of multiple step contraptions which result in a simple everyday action—the Rube Goldberg machine has become an annual favorite activity for the Middle School. The class is divided into six groups, each of which must use everyday objects to design and build a device whose chain reaction results in a whipped cream pie in the face of a faculty member.
Click here for a photo gallery of the event.