Do you have students who love inventing, designing new things, or working with machines?  Then we have the perfect digital content suggestions for you!  Engage your students’ problem solving, critical thinking, and spatial relations skills with these construction challenges.  Each challenge involves placing a series of parts in the correct locations and/or adjusting parts to result in a functioning machine.  Each functioning machine completes a task such as directing a ball into a bucket or focusing light through a magnifying glass.  Students are able to test their machines anytime during the building process to help them revise their machines to work more effectively.  Several levels of difficulty are represented to challenge a wide range of abilities.  Dish It Out and Launch Ball even allow students to create challenges for other students to complete.

Implementation Idea

These challenges would be most useful for individual student problem solving and/or for small group cooperation at a center.

Extension Idea

Have students bring in materials such as cardboard boxes, tin cans, string, empty milk cartons, etc. and move these online activities into the classroom by setting up an area for students to practice hands-on construction and problem solving by creating their own machines that complete tasks.

Suggestion #1 — Dish It Out

Students set up ramps to get the Mysterious Dim Sum ball into the take-out container.



Suggestion #2 — Tinker Ball

Students create a machine with an assortment of objects that will help the ball reach its goal.



Suggestion #3 — Goldburger To Go

Perfect the Rube Goldberg invention so it can deliver lunch to everybody.



Suggestion #4  Rube Goldberg Burglar Catcher

Make adjustments to the Rube Goldberg machine to get the burglar catcher working correctly.



Suggestion #5 — Mechanical Madness!

Put the missing parts into the correct positions on the kinetic sculpture to move the ball from the start to the finish line.



Suggestion #6 — Launch Ball

Slide, bounce, and spring your way through obstacles to direct the launch ball to the finish.


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