8-10 yrs old
11-13 yrs old
14-18 yrs old
Math & Economics
Rube Goldbergs provide a way for students to demonstrate their understanding of Physics concepts in a creative way.
October 25, 2016
Mini-Lesson (whole class)
Building an elaborate Rube Goldberg is helpful in demonstrating physics concepts like gravity, but the initial rate of a ball falling down a ramp can easily simulate this principle. • How do you know how far an object will fall? • What if you want to make it go farther?
Try building a simple ramp for a rolling object. • If you release the ball, how far will it go? • How can you determine the distance traveled inside Minecraft?
This should be a formula: d=rate/time where the distance would be the length of the blocks traveled. The rate would be calculated by using a phone or the clock on the computer to determine how long the ball took to reach the bottom. From here students can determine a rate as he variable in the equation.
Cooperative group activity choices: Teams should decide on other physics applications that could be used within Minecraft. • Option One: Student can build a model of their Minecraft ramp to scale in real life. • Option Two: Students can build an elaborate Rube Goldberg in Minecraft using more features like waterfalls to power their systems, or turning off water sources, Teachers would first insist on a draft drawing and then have students design their work in Minecraft.
Evidence of Learning: • Students will build the initial ramp in Minecraft. They will add a sign to their ramp to demonstrate the rate of how the ball traveled and even use the sign to show their work.
Extension: • Students could take the imagined, more elaborate Minecraft Rube Goldberg and build them as larger projects. • Students could also use Redstone to demonstrate physics concepts in Minecraft that do not apply: how would you have to adjust Minecraft blocks to show gravity?
Sign in with your Microsoft account and sign up for the Minecraft: Education Edition newsletter. We promise to respect your inbox.