Engineering is Cool #2: Rube Goldberg Devices

Girl Scouts Rube Goldberg

I recently had my daughter’s Girl Scout troop build Rube Goldberg devices as a meeting activity.  They utilized an assortment of toys I’d brought from home to shove a little ducky off the table.  The activity counted towards the Brownie’s Inventor badge and I was able to find a very cute fun patch for everyone that participated.   The ingenuity of the the girls when it came to creating something was fabulous.

I had made a very simple device as an example and was very happy to see that they didn’t just copy me.  The group I was “coaching” didn’t need any coaching at all.  They put things together, tried it, then made modifications to make it better.  The engineer in me was so proud!  When we do this again (and we will definitely do it again) I’m going to make sure we have the entire meeting to create because the girls were all very bummed when we moved on to a different activity.  I also need to come up with lesson verbiage that they can understand which describes the transferring of forces that occurs.  A teacher I am not!  The most difficult part was keeping the younger siblings from running off with all the toys.  They didn’t understand why they couldn’t play with them all.  😉

Rube Goldberg devices are fascinating to watch.  The physics behind the transference of forces without additional outside stimulation is so cool to see.  I think I’ve watched the one in the video above about 20 times.  Magnets are fascinating and to see them implemented like this is awesome.  The use of balls of different mass mixed with the magnets is so simple yet so clever.  I highly suggest clicking to this guys You Tube site and getting lost in the videos he’s posted.

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