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Science & Nature

Rube Goldberg: Engineering for Fun (Flex)

For this five week flex course, students will learn the basics of simple machines and use that knowledge along with their creativity to design and build Rube Goldberg Machines
Philip Watje
22 total reviews for this teacher
11 reviews for this class
Completed by 29 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
No live meetings
Over 5 weeks
year olds
learners per class
per learner - per week

How does a "Flex" course work?

No scheduled live video chats
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great if your learner prefers independent pacing or is uncomfortable with live video chat

There are no open spots for this class.

You can request another time or scroll down to find more classes like this.


Class Experience

Students will be able to:
1.  Name the six different simple machines and explain what they do.
2.  Use basic engineering to design a Rube Goldberg Machine.
3.  Use problem solving skills and creativity to build a Rube Goldberg Machine.
I teach at a mid/high school and for the past 14 years, I have organized our school's annual Rube Goldberg Project.  For this project, regular class is suspended, and students form teams to build Rube Goldberg Machines for the day.  It is an event that the students, staff, and community look forward to each year because it is fun and challenging and allows the students to show off their abilities in ways other than taking tests and giving presentations.
Each week, students will have to construct a Rube Goldberg Machine and upload a video of it in action to the Outschool Classroom.
Students will have to provide ideas and suggestions to help create the weekly 'twists' described in the Class Experience.
Learners are encouraged to use materials normally found around the house to construct their Rube Goldberg Machines. The ideal amount of money spent is as close to $0.00 as possible. Having said that, things like tape and glue may run out, and materials like cardboard and paper might be used up.
No live meetings, and an estimated 2 - 4 hours per week outside of class.
As with any building project, there are potential safety risks.  It is encouraged that parents oversee their learners as they build their machines.  The degree to which the parents monitor will change based on the learner's age and experience, but safety is paramount.  Though the learner should be in charge of designing and building the machine, parents are welcome to help if it provides for a safer experience. 


Philip WatjeLearning is too important to be taken too seriously.
22 total reviews
13 completed classes

About Me

 My academic background is astrophysics and mathematics, but after brief opportunities working with Los Alamos National Laboratory and the ATLAS experiment at the University of New Mexico, I realized that scientific research would not be a career... 
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