Rube Goldberg Devices Promote Cooperative Learning

Rube Goldberg Devices Promote Cooperative Learning
YouTube player

MakerKids, the kid-focused makerspace in Toronto, traveled all the way to the Bay Area Maker Faire with a bunch of odds and ends — balls, paper tubes, toy cars, and a bike-pump powered, home-made paintball shooter. They set up four tables around the paintball device, and teams of kids set up elaborate contraptions to drop a ball on a trigger mat, gradually coloring a poster of the MakerKids logo.

It’s called “MakerKids Rube Goldberg Device,” but the point of the exhibit is more about getting kids to work together toward a goal.

It’s a simple experiment that could be replicated anywhere; set up some ramps and some barriers to direct a rolling item, pick an interesting lever or impact to set that item rolling, and point it downhill at some goal — homemade paintball, or compressed air rockets.

Bonnie, Daniel, and Erica, from MakerKids
Bonnie, Daniel, and Erica, from MakerKids
Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Nathan Hurst is an editor at Make. He loves anything having to do with science or bicycling. He tweets as @nathanbhurst.

View more articles by Nathan Hurst


Ready to dive into the realm of hands-on innovation? This collection serves as your passport to an exhilarating journey of cutting-edge tinkering and technological marvels, encompassing 15 indispensable books tailored for budding creators.