Video: Design and Build a Rube Goldberg Machine

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Try these clever STEM activities to connect hands-on science and engineering to the ever-popular world of Mario! Let's-a go! Your kids and students probably know Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Bowser, and the Mario World gang, and chances are you do, too! March 10 is Mario Day, so known because in the right typeface, M A R 1 0 looks like M A R I O. (Once you see it, you see it!) This is the kind of clever… Read more
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Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
Rube Goldberg machines—machines that complete a simple task in a convoluted way—are intriguing, artistic, and fun! In this lesson, students will design and build such a machine themselves and use the concept of kinetic energy in the process. Before students start designing, they will do an experiment that explores how kinetic energy depends on the mass and the speed of the moving object. With a clear understanding of this concept, students then tackle the engineering design… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-PS3-1. Construct and interpret graphical displays of data to describe the relationships of kinetic energy to the mass of an object and to the speed of an object.
  • MS-ETS1-1. Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
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