My latest project is now live!!! The Boomsday Project - Here Comes The BOOM!!!
When I'm not building a machine, I actively tour around New England giving Rube Goldberg presentations to schools and groups promoting the STEM/STEAM application of mine/Rube's work.
The presentation is titled "The Who, What, and Why Behind Rube Goldberg" and can be tailored for any age group from Kindergarten to College students, and certainly for adults too!
Generally I've found the presentation structure works better if it is done in x2 parts. The 1st being a larger assembly where all classes gather and listen to the "Who, What, Why Presentation" to obtain the general information, and truthfully bring up the excitement level for the day. This can last anywhere from 30-60 minutes (whatever works best per each group's schedule availability). I like to leave 5-10 minutes for open Q&A at the end since the kids tend to have more questions about me/my background than Rube at the moment (I talk about my work with ESPN, Blizzard, as well as my education background which while it certainly brings up their attention / excitement levels, it also distracts a tad which is why the extra 5-10 helps).
From there, breaking up into smaller groups (5-30 students) is great as I can then focus on more 1-on-1 discussion with the students. Breaking down/analyzing Rube Machines in videos (having them reverse engineer my process), a hands on Tesla Coil demonstration (used in many of my videos), a "design your own Rube machine" activity (pen and paper), and introduce the Rube Works video game (where students can build their own machines without the mess all done on my laptop, or if the students have iPads). This can be for however long you'd like for each group, and can be tailored individually if your groups' members are at different stages (say if one group is just getting started with Rube, then I would show more videos to help inspire ideas; or if further along then more time can be devoted to me helping problem solve their machines if they are already at that stage).
I certainly feel the information is better absorbed and appreciated in the smaller setting where I can walk around and help brainstorm with the students/groups as they are designing their machines, which is why I like the x2 presentation system. That said of course, I fully appreciate that every school / class / group is different and I am more than happy to tailor what I present to whatever you'd like.
I should note that for the larger assembly (ie: 1st presentation), it certainly doesn't have to be just the class(es) learning about Rube Goldberg at that very moment. I'd say about 4 out of 5 times it ends up being a whole school assembly, which then afterwards when the specific class goes off to the 2nd presentation to learn more / have a fun day, it leaves the rest of the school buzzing and excited to potentially study the subject in the future!
Discussion of the intricacies of the machines often missed in the videos (via walkthroughs and never-before-seen videos)
Walk students through the process of how these machines are created, as well as explain why understanding the Rube Goldberg process can expand their problem-solving abilities,
Whether it be simply a writing activity, or a full hands-on activity, both are designed to challenge students to 1st think individually how to solve a problem, then work collaboratively with their peers to enact the solution.
Demonstration of real world examples of the 6 simple machines (used in my own projects), as well as examples of different types of energy transfers (including a hands-on experience with a working Tesla Coil featured in several of my videos)
Introduce students and educators to the Rube Works video game where students can build their own machines without the mess in the same style as Rube himself!
Organize a building exercise where students get to build their own mini-machines (requires 1 full day and should be planned with me far enough in advance of presentation)
This video is designed to aid STEM/STEAM classroom Rube Goldberg discussions.
In this episode, we take a closer/slower look into an old invention. This video shows how we took an everyday household object, and turned it into a Rube Goldberg module for the 2012 GWR Machine.
This video aims to show that while significant time and testing was focused on this module, it served as only a small (though awesome) part of the overall final product (something quite common during engineering projects).