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Rube Goldberg Machine

Design and build a Rube Goldberg machine that will close a book.


– must have 10 steps

– no combustibles or explosives

– must use all 6 simple machines


Marked out of 100

10 points for each step that is successfully completed in sequence


A Rube Goldberg machine is a contraption, invention, device or apparatus that is deliberately over-engineered or overdone to perform a very simple task in a very complicated fashion, usually including a chain reaction. The expression is named after American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg(1883–1970).

Over the years, the expression has expanded to mean any confusing or complicated system. For example, news headlines include “Is Rep. Bill Thomasthe Rube Goldberg of Legislative Reform?”[1] and “Retirement ‘insurance’ as a Rube Goldberg machine”.[2]

The World’s Most Complicated Rube Goldberg Machine

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Simple Machines

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