Rube Goldberg

The following passage was written with the help of junior Clemente student Niquel Smith

In Junior Physics, we are learning about the history and mechanics of a Rube Goldberg machine. The Rube Goldberg is a complex machine used to complete simple tasks like turning on the TV. A Rube Goldberg consists of different types of simple machines connected to form one large, complex machine. These simple machines include things like levers, pulleys, wedges, inclined planes, screws, and wheels and axles. In real life, we use these simple machines all the time. We use pulleys in elevators, levers as seesaws in parks, inclined planes as ramps, wedges to hold doors open, and screws to tighten or hold things together. We go through life using simple machines all the time. Most of the time we don’t even think about it!

We are building our own Rube Goldberg machines in Physics. The ultimate goal is to catch a toy mouse using at least ten complete steps. We are only allowed to start the very first simple machine and after that, we cannot touch it.  In my group’s Rube Goldberg, I have a toy car running down a ramp, and it slides into dominoes. This starts a string of ten simple machines linking to catch the mouse. The part that makes it so difficult is that if one machine does not work correctly, then we have to start all over. Each piece has to move, fall, or interact just right to catch the mouse. While it gets frustrating sometimes, it is cool to see everything working together and it’s a really great feeling when something works out exactly as planned.

The building of Rube Goldberg machines has become so famous and challenging that there are competitions for high schoolers and college students to compete for scholarships and money for there school. Thanks to Rube Goldberg,  the machine is now a trend but yet a learning tool for teachers, students, parents, or just a fun thing for people to do. It’s good for students to learn that complex machines can be used for the smallest and easiest tasks and can be made of the most simple objects. Thanks Rube Goldberg for this invention