This week, Whitfield juniors in Andrew Asikainen's physics sections completed and presented their Rube Goldberg Projects. This assignment requires students, working in teams, to create Rube Goldberg machines which used four of the six classical simple machines: lever, wheel/axle, pulley, inclined plane, wedge and screw. Eight total steps were required prior to the machine accomplishing a simple task, such as chopping a carrot, turning on a light switch, or raising a flag.
Rube Goldberg was an American cartoonist, author, sculpture, engineer and inventor, best remembered for his popular series of cartoons which depicted complex and convoluted devices that indirectly performed simple tasks. Creations in this style are now referred to simply by his name.
Students were highly creative with their designs while operating within strict parameters of both building materials and the overall size of their machines. Each team received a starter kit of materials and could only add materials with Mr. Asikainen's approval. The machine's total dimensions could not exceed three feet tall, by four feet wide, by two feet deep
In addition to exhibiting their Rube Goldberg's to their classmates and a panel of teacher-judges, students presented their final projects to an audience of their peers and parents on December 10 and 11. Each group gave a detailed presentation, explaining the physics behind every step in their machine.