Rube Goldberg Machine
20% Project

Rube Goldberg Machine

My project is about combining objects to do something simple like zip a zipper.

Choosing my project [Entry #1]

I chose the Rube Goldberg Machine project.

I chose it because making the small machine was fun.

I want to learn how to take random objects and make something cool that triggers something else.

I would do this for a career if I had not picked out a career yet.

Intro to the Project [Research/Planning]

My group and I looked up information on Rube Goldberg machines. We got some ideas from the research and videos.

Further Intro Research

Today my group and I looked up good ideas and drew out some ideas to add. We might have to change so stages. Not everything will work right away.


My team went to the zoo but I brainstormed more ideas.

Drawing and Brainstorming

My group and I finished our drawing and thought of what supplies we need. I brought a few materials. Same with McKenzie and Madi.

Listing Objects

My group and I made a list of our supplies that we need and built our first stage.

What am I finding out

We are figuring out how to improve our stages. We are finding out how to fix anything that is not working.

More Information

More information on the Rube Goldberg Machine. The machine is going to do something simple at the end, like ring a bell or zip a zipper. So we decided to zip a zipper from a coat. We will tie the zipper to something heavy, and when it falls it will force the zipper down, and the coat will un-zip!

Technical Parts

Our project has some difficult parts to set up and we have to test it before we test the whole machine.

Tech Stuff, Part 2

We have a book hitting a bouncy ball to go through a pipe. Which is our second stage.

Step 1: Put the book in different angles/spots/positions.

Step 2: Once we find a good spot for the book we will mark it.

Step 3: We will then figure out we should mark everything else with tape.


McKenzie is going to be absent for the next week so Madi and I are building by ourselves.

Another Building Day

Building our last stages. Measuring where each piece needs to be.

Fixing Stages

Some stages weren't working out with how we planned it. So we switched some parts of our plan.

Building all Stages

Today Madi and I are making the last stage with the others. We need to tie a string to a coat zipper and a golf ball. So when the golf ball falls it will unzip the coat.

Explaining Project

Madi and I finished building the whole machine, here is what's going to happen.

A cup with  a golf ball and a few marbles in it goes down a zip line

The cup will hit a book which hits a marble through a PVC pipe.

When the marble goes through the pipe it hits a piece of cardboard.

Then the cardboard hit a golf ball.

The golf ball hits a tape roll and it falls to the ground and unzips the coat.

Not Done Yet, Next Step

McKenzie is back and we are finishing our machine. The next step is to finish it and try to connect with another groups machine.

Next Step: get stages to work

Some stages don't work. So we have to arrange some stages and measure.

Fixing Stages

My group and I are still fixing some stages of our machine. We had to fix some props or objects. For example our golf ball doesn't way enough to push the weight down. So McKenzie brought in a baseball.

Did it Work?

No, our machine did not work. Although it will help us later on to not make whatever mistake we had again. It has worked before but not yesterday from all of our adjustments.


Our project is now finished. I learned a lot of stuff:

When you build something it doesn't work the first time.

You are always making changes to the project.

You have to learn how to cooperate/ work well with your group.

Our project turned out okay, it only worked once. [last time]                                                      We did not film that time because we were too frustrated. Our machine was not working at all.

This project did not make me want to pursue this subject. I would not have the patience to make these types of machines. Although at times it is cool and exciting watching your machine work or do what its supposed to do.

I wish I would have picked a different project/subject. I was going to pick cardboard chair but I changed my mind because I thought I would have more difficulty with that. I would want to do a different subject because I don't have enough patience for making mistakes or my machine

Comment Stream

2 years ago

Awesome job! it looks like you are putting a lot of thought into this!

2 years ago

Cool idea! I'm interested to know if the zipper plan works.

2 years ago

Good job Emily!!