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Rube Goldberg Projects – 2011

The Physics Honors students completed their Rube Goldberg projects today and I have to admit that I was very impressed. I am certainly blessed to have dedicated students who earnestly wish to apply themselves to their work, even when they are uncertain of the payoff.

The project requirements can be seen here, which is an attempt on my part to force students to see the ideas of energy and machines concretely. Contained within the project rules is a statement that no extra credit is possible on this project. This was implemented in order to prevent students from overdoing this project (for the sake of points!) as was seen frequently in the past. In its place is a requirement that each student group must have a conversation about the machines and energies in front of the class.

As can be seen below, of the 17 student groups, only one group did the minimum (10 steps) with many groups adding extra steps for the sake of style or just having fun with the project. Many reported the the total time expended was about eight (8) hours. The “attempts” column is the self-reported number of times a group needed in order to film the project in one take, a requirement of the project.

No. Project Steps Goal Attempts
1 Alley 13 rotate pedal  30
2 Alex 11 feed dog a biscuit  6
3 Caroline, Danni 12 turn on lights 12
4 Christina, Ali 14 print page 25
5 Joseph, Scott 13 play song 50
6 Emma, Ann, Lauren 15 open garage door 78
7 Maddy, Marisa 16 turn off water 44
8 Kathleen, Payton 11 sun tan lotion 50
9 Jacob, Ian 10 snooze button 2
10 Conor, Grant 17 bowl of cereal 40
11 Helen, Adrian 13 turn on music 9
12 Makena, Cady 13 turn on hairdryer 3
13 Emma, Kyle 12 turn on fan 45
14 Sam, Dani 17 turn on oven – bake cookies 7
15 Alex, Willy 12 ring bell 9
16 Tyler, Brett 13 turn on light 30
17 Sam, Will 21 make sandwich 20

One comment on “Rube Goldberg Projects – 2011

  1. Pingback: Polling Your Favorite Project « Soxteaching: Physics, Chemistry, Technology

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This entry was posted on November 30, 2011 by in Physics Honors, Projects and tagged , , .
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