Rube Goldberg – Who is this guy and how can he help me teach STEM?

Rube Goldberg Machine – a mechanism that performs a simple task using a complicated series of actions, named after an American cartoonist/artist/writer/inventor

My name is Matthew Dear and I am the Senior Curriculum Developer here at Enable Education. I have my Masters in Education and have had the wonderful opportunity to teach multiple grades and levels of learners.  My background and the bulk of my teaching experience has included learners with multiple exceptionalities.  Like everyone here at Enable, I’m passionate about finding ways to engage all types of learners.

As is the case with many teachers, I was committed to teaching quality science lessons that were both innovative and inclusive. However, like many teachers, I found that finding time to plan, and finding resources to support these lessons was sometimes challenging.

Working here at Enable Education has allowed me to really explore science education, including the elementary level.  I’ve been delighted to explore basic scientific principles with learners.  This subject area is not only exciting in and of itself, but is also an excellent way to teach all sorts of key principles, and to capture the interest of all kinds of learners.  Lessons in science and engineering can easily be made hands-on, and are relatively simple to implement.

To demonstrate the potential of science and engineering in the classroom, over the next six weeks, we’ll be releasing sample resources for elementary and upper elementary learners.  We have created a project based around the 6 Simple Machines that can be taught to multiple grades and to a variety of learners.  With this, we hope to demonstrate that engineering education can be accessible, not to mention fun (it certainly is for those of us who design learning resources around it).

Our team of engineering interns here at Enable have created a Rube Goldberg Machine to introduce six simple machines.  What is a Rube Goldberg Machine?  Well, you’ll just have to watch our videos to find out!

For each simple machine, we’ll be releasing engineering education materials.  Don’t be shy! Test out a lesson plan, try an experiment, learn simple programming, and teach engineering education in a cross- curricular way!  Pass them along, and let us know what you think.

Next Rube Goldberg Post: Know Your Audience


Matthew Dear

Matthew Dear is the Senior Curriculum Developer at Enable Education. Matt combines his extensive experience of creating diverse courses and course materials with a desire to promote new and exciting learning strategies.  He also loves the Boston Red Sox, but don’t hold that against him.

Free Lesson Plans 8 Projects 14 Rube Goldberg 8

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