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Heritage Oak Students Invent Simple Machines

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Heritage Oak Private Education’s eighth grade class recently created and displayed their own Rube Goldberg machines. What is a Rube Goldberg machine you ask? It is a machine that makes things far more complicated than they should be.

Rather than a written science test, Heritage Oak students were given the opportunity to combine what they have learned in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) into an exciting and fun project. What it does is take a very simple method, like sharpening a pencil or eating a banana, and make it more complex.

Some sample ideas include:

  • Opening an Umbrella
  • Erasing A Chalkboard
  • Shutting Off An Alarm Clock
  • Toasting a Slice of Bread
  • Putting Toothpaste on a Toothbrush

The project consisted of three distinct parts: Team charter, which included the names of the students, division of work and any conflict resolution. A sketch of the proposed project (presented in class), and the final physical project.

Rules for the project included that it have a minimum of 5 steps and at least 3 simple machines used (examples are: lever, screw, gear or wheel and axle, pulley,  inclined plane, wedge). The whole project could not exceed two feet in length by two feet in width and two and a half feet in height.

This Rube Goldberg project allowed HOPE students:  

  • To invent
  • To show understanding of how Force Science concepts are used
  • To display knowledge of Simple Machines
  • To be creative and artistic
  • To engineer an apparatus that is fun as well as functional

For more information, please contact Shawna Rhebergen at 714-524-1350 ext. 1