As the physics students have progressed through Ms. Roland’s class, their projects have done the same. Students are finally getting the chance to showcase what they have learned through the creation of their own, personal Rube Goldberg machine. “A Rube Goldberg is a lot of everything,” says junior Alejandro Morales, “There are a lot of parts and I get to use my imagination.”. Students are finally getting the chance to apply all of the concepts they have covered this year so far into one, fully functioning system of simple machines. The goal of the project is to catch a “mouse”. Students began developing their understanding of the task at hand and creating ideas to test from the very start of the unit. As the building start date got closer, students became more and more anxious for the chance to create something that was completely their own.
After running competitive practices and challenge stations, students are now free to build the creations they’ve been imagining. After identifying a purpose and reflecting on what technicalities are being covered from the subject, students began to sketch designs and start testing the ideas. Each and every student participates in these kinds of projects, which help work as great motivators to get students engaged in critical thinking as well as having fun in class. Students apply the IB Learner Trait “Thinker” to work with one another through the planning and development of these overly complicated machines. When one member of the group gets frustrated, another steps in and encourages. Encouragement like “Winners don’t get tired and give up!”, from Antonio Perez in response to a team member getting frustrated with a design aspect, helps to push students to do their best and to try new and challenging things.
While the building is not finalized yet, students are proud of the steps they are succeeding in and are working to capitalize their ideas and protect the secret designs from other teams. The students have proven to be excellent designers and innovators!