Arduino-Controlled Rube Goldberg Machine PBL Project
In these four PBL lessons, students will be working together to design, build, and code a simple machine to complete a simple task, otherwise known as a Rube Goldberg Machine.
Students will be able to identify and build simple machines using everyday materials. They will also integrate an Arduino controlled component (such as a motor or sensor) into their Rube Goldberg Machine. In the culminating lesson, students evaluate their completed Rube Goldberg Machines. Each student will complete a self-evaluation upon project completion. Final projects are presented in a student showcase open to their entire learning community.
The skills students will gain by the end of this project are critical thinking and problem solving, as well as design concepts such as balance & symmetry, if-then thinking, planning, measuring, organizing, collaboration, and persistence.
Lesson 1: In this lesson, students will be introduced to Rube Goldberg and simple machines (pulleys, lever, wedges, inclined planes, screws). As a final activity in this lesson, students will build a Rube Goldberg machine using one of the six simple machines introduced.
Lesson 2: In this lesson, students will be introduced to simple circuits & switches. As a final activity in this lesson, students will build a simple circuit turned ON via a Rube Goldberg constructed switch.
Lesson 3: In this lesson, students will be introduced to Arduino programming. As a final activity in this lesson, students will use Arduino to build and program an LED or Motor that is turned ON via a simple machine.
Lesson 4: In this lesson students will build a final Rube Goldberg Machine drawing from their knowledge of simple machines, circuits & switches, and Arduino. As a final activity in this lesson, students will present their creations at an open house science & making night, open to families, friends, and fellow students.
This project is brought to you by Sara Bolduc with support from the CTE Online curriculum leadership team and detailed coordination provided by Team Lead Trish Valceschini.