Rube Goldbergs a tough task

McKenzie Metzger

M. Metzger

Everyone is probably familiar with the name “Rube Goldberg”. Rube Goldberg was a famous cartoonist who drew complicated machines that performed simple tasks.

Four weeks ago, Melanie Contratto’s honors physics classes, began working on their own Rube Goldberg projects. The teens were originally given a packet of information, and set free to create.

The class broke into groups of their choice and had to complete multiple steps. First they needed to choose a simple task, then a theme, and ten steps to do the task. The project needed a fifteen second video to explain and give a visual of the machine. Trifolds were also an option as extra credit. 

Melanie Contratto is teaching her first year of honors physics at King’s High School. Contratto said that she decided to do this project because her old school in Tennessee used to do this project.

“The Rube Goldberg machines were a big project that the other honors physics classes would brag about,” Contratto said.

The machine is a time consuming thing to make. Most groups spent multiple hours working to complete their machine. Bianca Oteng, KHS senior, said that her group spent seven hours working on theirs.

Oteng said that the most challenging part was the dominoes, which repeatedly had to be set up and constantly fell. She said that the project seemed to connect with what they are currently learning and was fun to watch the physics of movement. Her favorite part was the reaction when the machine worked.

“I liked filming and our response when it worked was priceless,” Oteng said.

Every year a contest for the best Rube Goldberg machine is held. Thousands of people submit their projects to be viewed and judged.

The winning project is usually covered by media and often appears on late night talk shows.

Here are some videos that KHS students created as of 2015. For more information on the contest visit: http://www.rubegoldberg.com/Contest

Another project: Kings Goes Bowling

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