Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Rube Goldberg Machines

This term, my year 7 Class and I have been investigating FORCES and MOTION.

I started this unit by getting the students to conduct their own independent guided learning on Forces by completing a web quest that I constructed (and pilfered parts from another web quest I found - don't worry it's been acknowledged!)
I thought, this could go one of two ways - they'll embrace it and love it because it has games and videos in it and they can do it themselves - or they'll lose interest and bomb out because its new information and they wouldn't be able to follow it without a teacher.

Guess who was made redundant??

The kids absolutely took to it and LOVED it! Not only that, they ACED their science tests on the topic too!
Now I'm not saying it will work for every kid and every class, but this time it was amazing.

And because I am a generous soul - here is the link to the Forces Web Quest (just note, at the end there is a google forms quiz that the kids had to do to test their knowledge - if you get them to do this, I will receive all the results, not you haha!!!)

But onto the part that excites me the most -


I introduced this to my kids by watching the following RGM videos on YouTube:

This one by band Ok, Go! is monstrous in size! But it illustrates the point of what it is.

Secondly, I showed them this one of Audri, a little kid, who constructed his own RGM - but most importantly, he shows how it doesn't always work the first time and that trying again and again and failing are all part of the process.

What a little cutie!

By this time, the kids were totally chomping at the bit to get started. I handed out their task sheets - we spoke a little more on who Rube Goldberg actually was and away we went!

The kids had 2 restrictions in place:
1. The RGM had to perform a simple task at the end (ball into a cup, pour a bowl of chips etc.)
2. They could ONLY use recycled and hom/ classroom resourced materials. That is, nothing NEW was allowed to be bought specifically for this project. They could use anything they could find at home or in the classroom, including old toys, parts of games, Lego, mechano, boxes and rubbish and furniture (no bringing couches in from home though!)

The students need to plan their RGMs and design them. Here's the kicker... they needed to label each part of the machine in their plan along with a description of the force in play at each action point (YES! TEACHING WIN!!!!)

They then needed to construct their machine and VIDEO it in action. These videos will later be posted on their Learning blogs, along with their plans. I will tweet these out later and there will be voting from my PLN twitter people on which ones they like best. The machine with the most 'likes' by the end of the week will be declared Rube Goldberg Champion!

We are yet to video them, but here are some of the plans thus far:

Stay tuned for the videoed final products - you can follow me on twitter for these: @jolantastephens

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