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Exploring Simple Machines and the Complexities of Rube Goldberg Inventions

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Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science +1 Age Levels Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old)

This collection explores the concept of Rube Goldberg inventions and their use of multi-step processes to complete an action. Often Rube Goldberg inventions utilize a series of simple machines to cause a chain reaction for a task. Using an image of a comic that features one such invention, students can analyze the parts, purposes and complexities of the object and its processes. Additional resources are included to support the further exploration of these inventions and the identification of the simple machines (levers, pulleys, wedges, screws, wheels, axles and inclined planes). 

This collection complements an in-person visit to the Rube Goldberg™: The World of Hilarious Invention! Exhibit at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh.

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