January 24th, 2022
To wrap up the first semester of 2021-2022 school year, Hatboro-Horsham High School’s Intro to Engineering Class conducted a Rube Goldberg machine. “A Rube Goldberg machine, named after American cartoonist Rube Goldberg, is a chain reaction-type machine or contraption intentionally designed to perform a simple task in an indirect and overly complicated way.“
Mr. Grady’s Introduction to Engineering class had two weeks to create this machine. Mr. Grady’s first period class goal was to get their machine to send an email while Mr. Grady’s second period class goal was to get an egg to fry on a griddle. Each class had the opportunity to choose the task they wanted to complete. Unfortunately, neither class was 100% successful in getting a full run-through of their machine. “There were definitely long stretches of components that worked consecutively without any outside influence.” Joe Grady states.
“Each pair of students was responsible for 4 steps but then they had to bring it together into the larger group of 28 total steps for period 2 and 32 steps for period 1. The collaboration and creativity needed to move from one stage to the next was really cool to see. The components didn’t always mesh perfectly so the students made adjustments as necessary to make it work.” Joe Grady states.
This project takes lot of time, testing and collaboration. Even if your machine fails it was more about the process rather than worrying about the failure. It’s more important to see what you learned from that failure.