Fourth Graders Invent Rube Goldberg Machines

Fourth grade teacher Chris Brennan has been creative in finding ways to engage his students during distance learning. The class, like many others, is using FlipGrid to receive and share assignments such as collecting information on what’s happening outside the window at home through sustained observation (students were allowed to determine how to share their findings, through graphs and charts, timelines, etc.) and creating a weather report to share. One recent project? Creating a Rube Goldberg machine.

Mr. Brennan uploaded an example video to FlipGrid, which shows a long sequence of mechanizations that two people use to pass salt from one end of a table to another.

He then challenged the students to create their own contraption that “makes a very easy task super-difficult.” Students used supplies they found around their houses and created their own Rube Goldberg machines. The only criteria was that it had to be under five minutes long, as each student was to submit a video of their machines in action. From passing balls to pouring water, these fourth grade inventors did not disappoint! Here’s a brief montage of three of our student submissions.

Way to go, fourth graders! Your Rube Goldberg machines are great!