3-12, Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, Education, Uncategorized

Rube Cereal Machines

Thanks to Carrie Sledge on Twitter (@GreenGTAIM), I learned that General Mills has joined with RubeGoldberg.com to encourage creativity by inviting people to design Rube Goldberg machines that will pour cereal.  The General Mills contest is only open to people who are 18 years and up, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the tutorials they created for using 6 of their cereal boxes to make simple machines.  The Rube Goldberg site hosts its own contest for participants who are 8 and up, but you should definitely check the rule book, as there are detailed instructions and a registration fee.  Whether you are competing in an official contest or not, creating a Rube Goldberg machine can be a great way to incorporate many curriculum-related skills, as well as the 4 C’s (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity).

Larry Ferlazzo has a page dedicated to Rube Goldberg resources that you should definitely take a look at if you decide to embark on this adventure!

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Screenshot from Rube Goldberg Contest Task Announcement 2018
Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, Education, K-12, Science, Teaching Tools, Videos

The Serious Business of Play

At the intersection of art and science, you will find 3M’s recent Rube Goldberg Machine video.

It is a masterpiece that proves that logic and creativity are not mutually exclusive.



Education, Fun Friday, Science, Videos

Science by the Dull Eyed Llamas

For today’s Phun Phriday post, I am sharing a Rube Goldbergian feat by Ariel Llama.  Set to the music of “Science” by the Dull Eyed Llamas, you will see an elaborate set-up designed to open a door. Here is part of the summary on YouTube:

“This Rube Goldberg machine took almost 1 year to build, and 2 weeks of intense troubleshooting and filming to finish. It’s amazing what one crazy musician can build in his living room.

I wanted to show my students that you can make a pretty fancy machine out of cardboard and popsicle sticks, straws and dowels, found objects, duct tape, and perseverance. Et voila!”

I think perseverance might be the understatement of the year!

from Science by the Dull Eyed Llamas
from Science by the Dull Eyed Llamas
Art, Creative Thinking, Education, K-12, Student Products, Teaching Tools, Videos

Creative Ways to Survive the Weeks Before Winter Break

Full disclosure: this first week of December is going to be my busiest week this year. Therefore, I decided to cheat a bit for a few days and recycle some posts from last year.  I’ve done a bit of editing to make sure they remain current but otherwise they are the same.  Hopefully you still find them useful!

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Screen Shot from Kelly Wine’s Rube Goldberg-esque Holiday Machine Video

Let’s face it.  This month is hard.  No one – including you – is feeling very focused on academics right now.  To save everyone’s sanity, and to put smiles on all of the faces in the room, try some of these creative ideas:

Here are a couple I have mentioned before, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat.

Other posts in this series:

Logical Ways to Survive the Weeks Before Winter Break!
Physical Ways to Survive the Weeks Before Winter Break!
Telegenic Ways to Survive the Weeks Before Winter Break!

Education, Fun Friday, Games, K-12, Parenting, Science, Videos

Domino Chain Reaction

For today’s Fun Friday post, I am sharing a video I originally found on The Kid Should See This.
I must admit that I’ve always found it fascinating to watch domino chain reactions, but never really thought about the physics involved.

While I was grabbing the embed code for this video, I noticed quite a few other video suggestions on the side. As always, I would caution adults to preview any videos before showing them to the class. Another video that employs the use of a domino chain reaction that has been making the internet rounds recently is “Dog Goldberg Machine.” It’s an advertisement for Beneful, but quite clever (and cute!)

Got any dominoes around the house? Playing the game or making the chain reaction are both great activities for a rainy – or super hot – day!

Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, Education, Fun Friday, Games, K-5, Math, Parenting, Research, Science, Student Products, Videos, Websites

How to Trap a Monster in, Well, A Lot of Steps

The scary monster Audri plans to trap
The scary monster Audri plans to trap

I have a Fun Friday video for you of a young man named Audri and his very complex Rube Goldberg contraption.  Audri was 7 when he made this video, and aspires to one day study robotics at MIT.  I have no doubt that he will achieve all of his dreams!  If you feel like playing a virtual Rube Goldberg game, you can head on over to Goldburger to Go at PBS Kids.