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How to Make Something Simple...Hard

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Valerie Winton


Oak Park Middle School
Decatur City Schools


After studying the six simple machines, students work in collaborative groups to research and then create Rube Goldberg machines. These machines must complete a simple task by utilizing each and all of the six simple machines working together to complete this task. Students may use any materials they can find to create the machine.  Students will take digital pictures and/or video of their projects as they demonstrate them.

Length: 01:25

Aligned to the following ALEX lesson plan:

How to Make Something Simple...Hard

Content Areas: Science, Technology Education

Alabama Course of Study Alignments and/or Professional Development Standard Alignments:

SC (8)
9. Describe how mechanical advantages of simple machines reduce the amount of force needed for work.
  • Describing the effect of force on pressure in fluids
  • Example: increasing force on fluid leading to increase of pressure within a hydraulic cylinder
    TC2 (6-8)
    2. Publish digital products that communicate curriculum concepts.
    Examples: Web pages, videos, podcasts, multimedia presentations
    SC2015 (9-12) Physical Science
    12. Design, build, and test the ability of a device (e.g., Rube Goldberg devices, wind turbines, solar cells, solar ovens) to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.*

    National/Other Standards:

    National Science Teacher Association (NSTA): National Standard B for grades 5-8: As a result of their activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop an understanding of motions and forces.


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