Rube Goldberg Machines with colleen
This week I helped out during Colleen’s lesson on Rube Goldberg machines. She started off by showing them Ok-Go videos and images of his sketches to get them intrigued and “get the ball rolling.” She engaged them by asking questions about Mousetrap the game and if they’ve ever heard of Goldberg or seen his inventions. We had two girls this week since one student was absent, and they really loved collaborating together at the beginning during the brainstorming session, and then ended up making two distinct machines.
Colleen instructed them to draw out their sketches and spent time talking with them about what machines they could invent such as ones for nail polish painting, applying make up and I added in some ideas as well. She showed them her 3-D example and told them they could make a machine that actually works or not.
The kids played around with the recycled materials as they were brainstorming to get their brains and hands moving which helped them generate ideas.
They surprised me by constructing really large machines that went from ceiling to table or table to floor. It was a physical process they were involved in and enjoyed being a part of. She also used a pop quiz with them towards the end and asked if they remembered the artist’s name we looked at as a kind of formative assessment.
Overall, this lesson was successful because she had materials prepared and organized, images for them to look over and discuss, an example which helped them visualize a possible machine, and engaged kids who produced well constructed and clear machines with an input and output.