Students and Parents,

It's time for my favorite project of the year.  It's time for you all to construct your Rube Goldberg Machines!  If you have no idea what one is, I've created a Youtube playlist of some amazing ones below:

I've also copied and pasted the assignment I sent home today below:

Rube Goldberg Assignment

Final Presentation/Assignment DUE Friday, September 15th

Introduction: Every time something in the Universe moves, heats, cools, or explodes, some form of energy is transferred (sent) from one piece of matter to another. Since there are many different forms of energy, there are also a large number of ways to transfer it. This project is designed to let you demonstrate your understandings of those transfers by creating some of your own.


Rube Goldberg (1883-1970) was a cartoonist who is famous for his drawings of marvelous inventions that did simple things. You are going to create a marvelous invention that uses many transfers of energy to do one simple thing.

Task: Your task is to design and construct a Rube Goldberg machine using everyday objects/simple machines (which may include pulley, lever, wedge, screw, wheel and axle, and inclined plane) and at least 2 energy transfers to successfully complete an “end task.” For example, your machine can:

• Pour water into a cup;

• Shut off an alarm clock;

• Put toothpaste on a toothbrush;

• Put coins into a bank;

• Ring a bell; or

• Any number of things you could think of on your own.

You will be working in self-selected groups to complete this machine. You can choose to work on your own if you wish.

Rube Goldberg Machine “Rules”:

A. The machine must complete a task.

B. Your machine must have a title.

C. The machine must contain at least 2 energy transfers.

D. No live animals or hazardous materials may be used by the machine.


If you need to see some examples of a Rube Goldberg Machine in action, there are some fun examples on


Final Presentation: Your group will be presenting your final Rube Goldberg machine to the class.  You can do this by...

  1. Film your Rube Goldberg Machine in action, showing the different energy transfers.  This can be shared by either uploading it to Youtube/Google Drive or your parents can email the video to Mr. Piercey (

  2. Set it up live in class for your classmates to watch it in action.  If you choose this option, make sure that you know how to set it up before coming to school that day.    

Individual Task: Each student will also complete a written assignment as a conclusion to the project. Written assignment should include:

  1. A drawing/sketch of your Rube Goldberg machine, identifying the different places where the energy transfers took place.  This can be done either digitally or on a piece of paper.

  2. A short paragraph explaining the difference between POTENTIAL and KINETIC energy (you may have to do some research on this part).

Donnie PierceyComment