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Rube Goldberg Material and Simple Task Ideas to Get the Ball Rolling!

Updated: Mar 27

All amazing Rube Goldberg Machines start with a variety of materials for building a complex contraption that completes a simple task. Need ideas? Look no further!

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Rube Goldberg Machine Example

Who is Rube Goldberg, and what is a Rube Goldberg Machine?

Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist, inventor, and engineer who lived from 1883 to 1970. He became famous for making contraptions that did simple tasks in really complicated and funny ways. These contraptions, now known as "Rube Goldberg machines," involve a series of interconnected and complex steps to achieve a basic goal. Imagine a toy car knocking over dominoes, which then make a marble roll down a track, and finally, the marble pops a balloon! It's like a big chain reaction of silly steps that end with something fun happening!

Rube Goldberg Material Examples

Rube Goldberg Material Ideas:

(These link to material examples)

Boxes (Different sizes)

Tape (Different sizes)


Here's a FREE printable and digital version of these lists!

Find more STEAM recommendations here!

Rube Goldberg Simple Task Ideas:

Ring a bell.

Water a plant.

Stop an alarm clock.

Turn off a light.

Erase a whiteboard.

Pour cereal into a bowl.

Pop a balloon.

Put a toy into a bin.

Deposit a coin into a piggy bank.

Water a plant.

Rube Goldberg Book Recommendations:

Have fun bringing this engaging project to life in your classroom or home! Don't forget to grab the Rube Goldberg Materials and Idea freebie! If you would like the Complete Rube Goldberg Project Guide, you can get that on TPT or here at Lodge's Learning:

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