Saturday, May 10, 2014

Rube Goldberg Project

Now that the end of the year is quickly approaching, I wanted to share with you our last project. Instead of doing the house project, we decided to begin a project that would be meaningful to us. You may have heard from your child by now but we have been studying Rube Goldberg. Rube Goldberg is a person and an adjective. Let me explain. Rube Goldberg was a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist who wrote in a variety of genres between the early 1900's until his death in 1970. He wrote songs, wrote the screenplay for the Three Stooges first movie, drew political cartoons, and comic strips. It was the comic strips of his inventions which made him well known (see this website for examples of his cartoons). It is for this reason, Rube Goldberg is also an adjective in the dictionary used to describe any complex machine used to solve a simple problem. One of the best examples is this OK Go's Rube Goldberg video for their song "This Too Shall Pass."

As part of our study of Rube Goldberg, we have been studying who Rube Goldberg was. This will include a Skype session with Rube Goldberg's grand daughter on Tuesday. She will share with us information about her grandfather, his art, and his comic inventions. We will also be looking at his political cartoons since many of these cartoons deal with WWII and post-WWII. We have also been playing with a Rube Goldberg app on our iPads which have introduced us to a variety of Rube Goldberg inventions, comics, and various trivia. Student have been absolutely addicted to this app - it is very well designed and provides a mix of information and entertainment. On Friday, we will be Skyping with the creator of this app. Later this week, each group will begin sketching out and planning to build their Rube Goldberg invention. Our task is to shoot a rubber band. As a class we will begin hashing out the specific details of the inventions before we begin building our actual Rube Goldberg inventions. If we discover we need some additional assistance, we will let everyone know.

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