Students have an opportunity to apply the skills that they learned in their physical science class. Rube Goldberg projects are an excellent method to demonstrate the usefulness of simple machines.
It's an chance to learn teamwork and problem solving skills as well.
Sometimes the machine doesn't work like one expects. Perhaps it did work during the trial stage. Then paint may have been applied to improve the team's vision of a theme. Then mechanisms get gummed up.
Sometimes a really creative vision for the machine doesn't quite have the workings to follow through on the task.
Even though those machines didn't 'work'... the journey is the reward. A failed machine isn't a failure.
Still... watching a machine work... and dump cereal into the bowl as intended is a pretty satisfactory experience.
Watch for interviews with participants in a segment on an upcoming episode of Dakota Life in the 2018-2019 season. Series producer Melissa Hamersma Sievers joined Cara Hetland on Innovation to review the event. Listen here.