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Name:

Foundations of Technology
Unit 4 Lesson 1: The Core Technologies
File 4.1.3: Rube Goldberg Design Brief

Period:

Date:

Rube Goldberg Design Brief


Background

Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist and engineer. In 1904 he graduated from University of
California at Berkeley as a civil engineer. He did not enjoy his work and he quickly
found another job working for a local paper as a cartoonist. Rube Goldberg spent most
of his career drawing cartoons and images of machines and contraptions. His designs
presented simple, everyday tasks as complex machines integrating natural and
technological devices.
The core technologies and simple machines can be found in every Rube Goldberg
cartoon, to some extent. Within every large system, there are a series of smaller
subsystems that must function together to achieve the desired results.

Design Problem

You have been hired by a local museum to design an interactive Rube Goldberg exhibit
for museum visitors to learn about Rube Goldberg, the core technologies, and simple
machines. In an effort to make the exhibit as informative and fun as possible, the
museum wants your device to use a wide variety of core technologies and simple
machines in creative and interesting ways. The task the machine has to accomplish
should be chosen from the following list:

Specifications

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Materials

Pop a balloon
Turn a page in a book
Water a plant

Raise a flag
Turn on a light

Must include at least 5 of the 9 core technologies.


Must include at least 2 simple machines.
Must fit within a 24 wide x 24 long x 18 high volume.
Must be constructed from materials provided by the teacher and one additional item
from home (teacher approval is required).
Must complete the selected task in between 1 and 3 minutes
Must be safe to operate.
Once the initial step is put in motion, the device cannot be touched or altered.
The cost of the device should be minimized.

VEX Equipment

2013 International Technology and Engineering Educators AssociationFoundations of Technology, Third


Edition /
Technology, Engineering, and Design

This rubric will be used to evaluate your extension activity:


Category
Core Technologies

Below Average
The student did not
incorporate five of
the nine core
technologies or the
core technologies
were not
appropriately
applied in the
students design.

Average
The student incorporated at least
five of the nine core technologies.
All core technologies were used
appropriately and contributed to
the overall design of the Rube
Goldberg machine.

Simple Machines

The student did not


incorporate two
simple machines or
the simple
machines were not
appropriately
applied in the
students design.

The student incorporated at least


two simple machines. All simple
machines were used
appropriately and contributed to
the overall design of the Rube
Goldberg machine.

Criteria and Constraints

The student did not


adhere to the
identified criteria
and constraints or
the criteria and
constraints were
not identified during
the Engineering
Design Process.

The student followed all criteria


and constraints. Criteria and
constraints were identified in the
students Engineering Design
Journal or in the project folio.

Operation

The Rube Goldberg


machine is not safe
to operate or the
students did not
demonstrate lab
safety as the Rube
Goldberg machine
was constructed.

The Rube Goldberg machine is


safe and entertaining when
operated. The machines runs
without assistance and produces
the desired result. Students
purposefully planned the design
of their Rube Goldberg machine
using the Engineering Design
Process.

Excellent
The student incorporated more than five
of the nine core technologies. All core
technologies were used appropriately and
contributed to the overall design of the
Rube Goldberg machine. The use of the
core technologies was purposeful and
planned prior to construction of the Rube
Goldberg machine. Students can explain
how core technologies were applied in
their design.
The student incorporated more than two
simple machines. All simple machines
were used appropriately and contributed
to the overall design of the Rube
Goldberg machine. The use of the simple
machines was purposeful and planned
prior to construction of the Rube
Goldberg machine. Students can explain
how simple machines were applied in
their design.
The student followed all criteria and
constraints. Criteria and constraints were
identified in the students engineering
design journal or in the project folio. The
students articulate how the design of the
Rube Goldberg machine was planned
around the criteria and constraints.

The Rube Goldberg machine is safe and


entertaining when operated. The
machines runs without assistance and
produces the desired result. Students
purposefully planned the design of their
Rube Goldberg machine using the
Engineering Design Process, which is
outlined in the Engineering Design
Journal or the project folio.

The teacher may also use the following rubric to evaluate the Engineering Design Process:

Criteria
5 Core Tech.
2 simple machines
24x24x18
10-30 sec.
Was not touched
Creativity

Accomplished goal

5 Points
7 Points
Only 1 or 2
3 or 4 core
none
1 machine
Over 3 inches Within 3 inches
Over or under Over or under by
beyond 4 sec. 4 sec.
More than 2
Less than 2
No additional
Additional
materials
materials were
were used
used and added
to creativity
No

NA

10 Points
5 core
2 machines
Within
Within 10-30
Only to start
Additional materials were
used and added to creativity
and enhanced understanding
of core tech. and/or simple
machines
Yes

2013 International Technology and Engineering Educators AssociationFoundations of Technology, Third


Edition /
Technology, Engineering, and Design