Rube Goldberg Machine for physics class in highschool any ideas?

• djmax23
In summary, for a physics class project, you are tasked with building a Rube Goldberg machine that must include circular motion, projectile motion, rolling motion, gravitational energy, kinetic energy, elastic energy, conservation of momentum, and electric or magnetic fields. It cannot be powered by more than a 6v battery and must fit in a box 1mx0.75mx1m. So far, you have incorporated 12 out of 20 steps, but still need to include elastic energy and circular motion. The key is to make the machine as silly as possible while still maintaining functionality. Some possible materials to use could include rubber bands, matches, balloons, wire hangers, metal ball bearings, electrical solenoids, action figures
djmax23
I need to build a rube goldberg machine for physics class and i am stuck on ideas. It must include circular motion, projectile motion, rolling motion, gravitational energy, kinetic energy, elastic enrgy, conservation of momentum, and electric or magnetic fields. It cannot be powered by more than a 6v battery and must fit in a box 1mx0.75mx1m

djmax23 said:
I need to build a rube goldberg machine for physics class and i am stuck on ideas. It must include circular motion, projectile motion, rolling motion, gravitational energy, kinetic energy, elastic enrgy, conservation of momentum, and electric or magnetic fields. It cannot be powered by more than a 6v battery and must fit in a box 1mx0.75mx1m

Welcome to the PF.

Per the PF Rules, since this is a school project, you must show a lot of effort on it before we can offer some ideas. What are your ideas so far? When you do a Google Images search, what kind of machines look interesting?

Ultimately, the machine will depend upon what materials you have at your disposal. You could make a roller coaster for a marble, but if you don't have anything to make the track out of that wouldn't be feasible for you.

So, what do you have? Rubber bands, matches, lighter, balloons, wire hangers, metal ball bearings, electrical solenoids, action figures, dolls, erector sets, legos, dominoes, etc...

Hmmm... a real Rube Goldberg device has to include a teakettle and either a parrot or a monkey (both if possible), but I suppose that you don't have one of those.
The trick is to make it as silly as possible, within the bounds of functionality. Google some of the original cartoons to get a feel for the concept.

This might give you some ideas.

Last edited by a moderator:
i only need to incorprate elastic energy and circular motion left and i hasve 12 out 20 steps

1. What is a Rube Goldberg machine?

A Rube Goldberg machine is a contraption that uses a series of complex and unnecessary steps to perform a simple task, often in a comical or overcomplicated manner. These machines are typically made up of everyday objects and rely on the principles of physics to function.

2. How does a Rube Goldberg machine demonstrate physics principles?

Rube Goldberg machines demonstrate various principles of physics such as gravity, energy transfer, momentum, and simple machines. They showcase these principles by utilizing them in creative and exaggerated ways to achieve a specific task.

3. What are some common materials used to build a Rube Goldberg machine?

Everyday household items such as dominoes, marbles, ramps, pulleys, and toy cars are commonly used to construct Rube Goldberg machines. Other materials such as cardboard, tape, and string can also be used to create the different components of the machine.

4. How do you design a Rube Goldberg machine for a physics class?

To design a Rube Goldberg machine for a physics class, first determine the simple task the machine will perform. Then, identify the physics principles that can be incorporated into the machine and brainstorm creative ways to use them. Finally, plan out the sequence of steps and gather materials to build the machine.

5. What are the benefits of building a Rube Goldberg machine for a physics class?

Building a Rube Goldberg machine for a physics class allows students to apply their knowledge of physics principles in a fun and hands-on way. It also encourages creativity, problem-solving skills, and teamwork. Additionally, it helps students develop a deeper understanding of physics concepts by seeing them in action.

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