This month, the G4 students joined hundreds of students from all over the world in celebrating Rube Goldberg’s legacy by building a complicated machine that placed money into a piggy bank. Groups of students were asked to apply what they had learned about conservation of energy and energy transfer to design, build, test and refine a Rube Goldberg machine as part of their science unit of study on Energy. The task required teamwork, creativity, science, engineering, art, math, trust, a sense of humor and a lot of patience.
The piggy banks used were designed and created in collaboration with Ms. Megan Carpenter, the upper elementary art teacher. Many of the designs also incorporated simple machines, which the students had explored and learned to build in the Makerspace with Mr. Ben Newton.
When asked to reflect on the experience the students and teachers shared the following:
"I liked the Rube Goldberg Machines because I like making something. If I tried something and it was wrong, when I tried something one more time and it was right, I think happy things and it is good!" - Viviana / Ryu DoIn (4R)
"I just like thinking how to make and making it... It was fun to make and get a group. I think we got more friendly and we could practice English and we know many science words and we used them." - Jake K / Ko TaeGeon (4R)
“Designing and testing the machines promotes critical thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving skills; the 21st-century life skills we want our students to gain.” - Natalie Boyd (4B homeroom teacher)
“It was rewarding to watch the students be fully engaged and emotionally invested in designing and building machines they were proud of and showcased their understanding of energy” - Ms. Isabel Heredia (Science Instructional Specialist)
There were many frustrating moments but in the end, every group created a unique design that reflected the team’s personality and creativity. It was a wonderful experience and a true celebration of learning. After observing the final presentations, Dr. Tosacno remarked, “It's great to see our kids excited about their learning.”